Mokopane Regional Court has convicted and sentenced ABSA bank employees Dimakatso Prudence Ramakgole 34, Seatile Pauline Senoamadi 44, and Motsiri Peter Ramahlarerwa 58 to 15 years direct imprisonment each for defrauding the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and Samancor Foundation of R190 million.
Limpopo National Prosecuting Authority Spokesperson, Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangilo during the trial, the court heard how the syndicate operated as ABSA bank employees in Limpopo and Gauteng.
The court heard how the trio accessed JSE Trustees and Samancor Foundation portfolios without authorisation.
Malabi-Dzhangilo said on July 26, 2019, near Lephalale, the accused unlawfully, falsely and with intent to defraud, and misrepresented to Samancor Foundation or ABSA, that they were authorised to transfer R2.9 million. They changed the JSE’s banking portfolio and added their own.
On August 12, 2019, a transfer of R30 million was made from Samancor Foundation. On September 23, 2019, an overall amount of over R158 million was transferred..
In mitigation of sentence, the defence lawyer of the accused submitted that the court should depart from the prescribed minimum sentence as the accused were first time offenders and they showed remorse.
In aggravation of the sentence, State Advocate. Sammy Mogoshi submitted that the accused committed a serious offence involving different role players. This is an indication that they do not respect the law.
Mogoshi further told the court that fraud poses a serious threat to our economy and democratic state. Cases of this nature are of national concern.
There is a huge cry in society that the courts must address fraud by imposing appropriate sentences.
Mogoshi further urged the court to impose a custodial sentence to deter the accused and other would-be offenders from committing crimes of this nature.
ABSA had to reimburse JSE and Samancor Foundation in a combined amount of R191 108 910.46
The court agreed with the state that fraud as a white-collar crime is a national concern, and the only appropriate sentence is a custodial sentence.
The court sentenced them to 15 years’ imprisonment each.
The NPA welcomes the sentence and hopes it will deter other would-be offenders from committing such crimes, and further restore confidence in the justice system.
Director of Public Prosecutions, Advocate. Ivy Thenga, congratulates Advocate Mogoshi and Captain Herman Els from the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation.