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A former accounting clerk for the Mpumalanga Department of Education has been brought to justice after defrauding the department of over R3 million. Nomthandazo Delsie Khoza, 37, exploited her position to coordinate an elaborate fraud and money laundering scheme over 18 months.
Khoza was employed to process payments for former employees and beneficiaries of the Department of Education in Bushbuckridge. However, between May 2019 and November 2020, she colluded with a colleague to create fake beneficiaries and reroute funds intended for legitimate beneficiaries into their own bank accounts.
In total, Khoza’s theft amounted to R3,010,475.44 stolen from rightful beneficiaries of the department. Her activities were eventually uncovered and reported in November 2020. Following an investigation by the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime unit, Khoza was arrested in January 2021.
Facing 93 charges, including fraud, theft and money laundering, Khoza appeared in the Nelspruit Specialised Commercial Crime Court on Monday. She received a 10-year sentence for fraud and theft, wholly suspended for 5 years provided she is not convicted again. She also drew 36 months of correctional supervision with house arrest.
For money laundering, Khoza received a further 6-year suspended sentence, provided she pays back R180,000 to the department at R3,000 per month from February 2024. Her pension benefits were also ordered to go toward victim restitution.