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PE Commercial Crimes Court rules on Portia Sizani R1.2 million fraud case

Mar 28, 2019
PE Commercial Crimes Court rules on Portia Sizani R1.2 million fraud case

Port Elizabeth - The Port Elizabeth Commercial Crimes Court is expected on Thursday to rule in the R1.2 million fraud trial of Portia Sizani, who is the wife of former African National Congress (ANC) Chief Whip in Parliament, Stone Sizani.

He is now South Africa's ambassador to Germany.

It is the State's allegation that Sizani, who was arrested back in 2012,  defrauded the Eastern Cape Department of Education out of more than R1.2 million by processing several fraudulent applications for Grade R teaching posts.

Apparently, she would somehow get the personal details of teachers and apply for posts on their behalf -  even falsifying school principals’ signatures approving the posts.

When the Eastern Cape Deprtment of Education paid the teachers salaries, Sizani would allegedly show up and claim that a mistake had been made and the money should be transferred to her account as she worked for the Department as an Early Childhood Development (ECD) District Co-ordinator at the time.

Fraud and money laundering case against Portia Sizani

The State alleges that she would convert these monies for her own personal use and the fraud went on between 2009 and 2010.

Sizani tried, but failed to force Magistrate Mputumi Mpofu to recuse himself from the fraud trial accusing him of bias as his wife was employed by the Eastern Cape Department of Education.

Magistrate Mpofu argued that his wife had stopped working for the department in 2013, when the trial began. It had been delayed after Sizani cited illness.

In February 2016, the court cleared her of five of the 15 counts of money laundering against her as witnesses on those cases could not be traced.

However, she still faced 16 counts of fraud and 10 of money laundering, which the court will pass jugement on Thursday.

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