Telecommunications and Postal Services Committee welcomes 280 years jail time for Postbank fraudsters

JUNE 30, 2015

The Portfolio Committee on Telecommunications and Postal Services applauds the outcome of joint operation by the South African Post Office’s Forensic Investigation Unit and the South African Police Service (SAPS) which has resulted in nine people being sentenced to a combined jail term of 280 years.

The sentence – handed down by the South Gauteng High Court – came about as the result of eight charges including racketeering, theft, fraud, money laundering, forgery, corruption and attempted escape which the nine people faced. In welcoming the sentence, Committee Chairperson Ms Mmamoloko Kubayi highlighted Section 195 (1) of the Constitution.

“The sentence was in line with Section 195 (1) (a) of the Constitution, which says public administration ought to promote and maintain a high standard of professional ethics. We applaud government’s effort in eradicating crime, especially efforts by the SAPO, SAPS and the courts,” Ms Kubayi said.  

She reiterated that the Committee would also appeal to the SAPO management to ensure stringent recruitment processes in order to discard corrupt employees and ensure that similar syndicate did not recur, especially as the Post Office was moving towards a full corporatisation of Postbank.

On 01 December 2010, President Jacob Zuma assented to the South African Postbank Limited Act (Act No.9 of 2010), which came into effect on 22 July 2011. The purpose of the Act was to provide for the incorporation of Postbank division of the SAPO, whereby the enterprise of which must be transferred to the new Postbank company. It also provided for the governance and functions of the Postbank.

Investigation into the syndicate was launched in June 2011 after the Forensic Investigation Unit of the SAPO received information of a suspected criminal syndicate targeting Postbank’s accounts that held large sums of money. 

It was later discovered that seven offenders, who are former employees of the SAPO, colluded with two non-employees in attempts to defraud Postbank, a division of the Post Office. It will soon be launched as an independent bank after due processes with the South African Reserve Bank have been followed. 

 

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