Fired State Security Agency Finance Clerk Stole R170k, Jailed For Six years

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Fired State Security Agency (SSA) finance clerk, 53-year-old Kgaogelo Bopape, has been sentenced by the Pretoria Special Commercial Crimes Court to six years in prison for stealing R170 000.

Bopape’s troubles began two years ago when she withdrew half a million rand of SSA money under false pretenses.

She claimed the funds were to be made available to members of the SSA for their operations.

However, evidence led in court showed that Bopape kept the funds in a safe in her office.

At some point, Bopape stole R170 000 from the money she was keeping in the safe and spent it.

She only replaced R10 000, before her boss found out the money was missing.

The Finance Manager of the division did a spot check and discovered that R500 000 was missing from the safe.

An internal investigation led to Bopape’s office where an opened money packet containing R330 000 was found.

Bopape was interogated and she eventually admitted to stealing R170 000.

The matter was reported to the police, and she was arrested on 26 January 2021. Bopape pleaded guilty to a charge of theft.

During the arguments in court, prosecutor Advocate Billy Moalosi said Bopape abused her position of trust.

The accused used her position of trust to avoid being suspected of the crime.

“The fact that she pleaded guilty cannot be seen as remorse, but rather regret because the state had a strong case against her.”

In delivering his judgement, the magistrate said Bopape committed a serious crime that deserved a sentence that matched its seriousness.  

The accused lived above her means and stole the money to maintain her lifestyle, said the magistrate.

“She should have known better, because of her age and her position of trust, especially with her work experience and should have been able to distinguish between right and wrong,” said the magistrate.

Commenting on the sentence, DPP Advocate Sibongile Mzinyathi welcomed the prison term and said it will send a strong message that the State takes serious action against those who commit crimes of theft, corruption and fraud, especially committed by government officials, very seriously.