THE National Prosecution Authority (NPA)has welcomed the sentencing of a former Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency (MEGA) employee, who has been found guilty of stealing R5 million from the agency.
Siphiwe Emily Mashinini (44) was recently sentenced to eight years imprisonment suspended for 5 years.
Mashinini was sentenced by the Graskop Regional Court after she was found guilty of theft, fraud and money laundering.
“We welcome the sentence with the hope that it will serve as a deterrent to those who commit similar crimes,” said Monica Nyuswa, provincial spokesperson for NPA.
Mashinini was further ordered to pay back an amount of R233.677.00 to MEGA within 5 years as proceeds of the crime she committed.
” In 2011, Mashinini was employed as a finance clerk at MEGA and was responsible for payments to small businesses. In 2012, she changed the account numbers of the service providers and substituted them with that of her ex-husband, Mhlupheki Ngobeni and their family business,” said Nyuswa.
She was reportedly arrested together with her former colleagues and friends Thulisile Nkundla, her husband Mfeleni Louis Nkundla, Dinah Nkosi, Thulisile Maseko after they transferred money amounting from the agency to their entities’ Standard bank accounts in 2012.
According to Nyuswa, the Standard Bank (Pty) Ltd was also found guilty of contravention of the Financial Intelligence Centre Act by failing to report suspicious transactions.
All other accused in the case were also been found guilty and sentenced to 7 years imprisonment in respect of each of 18 counts of theft, suspended for five years on condition that they were not convicted on money laundering committed during the period of suspension.
The convicts’ property, including houses, motor vehicles, and pension funds will be taken by the state, the statement from the NPA cited.