MBOMBELA – A former financial clerk at Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency (MEGA), Siphiwe Emily Mashinini, was denied bail by the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
The case was postponed to April 9 for further investigation. Mashinini was arrested by members of the Hawks Mpumalanga Serious Commercial Crime Investigation Unit on Friday for 36 counts of fraud, money laundering and theft.
The suspect changed the account numbers of the service providers and substituted them with her own and family members, businesses of her ex-husband, Mike Mhlupheki, her friend Thulisile Petronella Nkundla and her friend’s husband, Mfelani Louis Nkundla. The suspect was arrested with the other syndicate members in 2012 for defrauding MEGA over R1 million and they were granted R5 000 bail each.
The other suspects were found guilty and sentenced in 2013 to seven years’ imprisonment in respect of each of the 18 counts of theft, wholly suspended for five years on condition the accused are not convicted on money laundering committed during the period of suspension.
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The Forfeiture Unit of the National Prosecuting Authority seized a house and two vehicles belonging to Nkundla’s family.
Mashinini’s parent’s house and her Tazz are attached and waiting for her sentencing. She was supposed to have appeared in the Graskop Regional Court on March 5 for trial, but she and her attorney failed to appear and a warrant of arrest was issued for her.