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Joburg Market official arrested for R5.5m fraud, 2 alleged accomplices believed to be in Zim – News24

The Hawks arrested the woman on Monday afternoon. (Photo by Gallo Images / Sowetan / Tiro Ramatlhatse)

The Hawks arrested the woman on Monday afternoon. (Photo by Gallo Images / Sowetan / Tiro Ramatlhatse)

  • A senior financial controller at the Joburg Market has been arrested for fraud.
  • The woman and two alleged accomplices have been accused of defrauding the City of R5.5 million.
  • It is believed that the two alleged accomplices fled the country.

A senior Joburg Market official has been arrested for allegedly defrauding the City of Johannesburg of R5.5 million and it is suspected that her two alleged accomplices have fled the country to Zimbabwe.

The Hawks arrested the woman, a senior financial controller at the Joburg Market, on Monday afternoon. 

She is expected to appear in the Johannesburg Commercial Crimes Court on Tuesday for fraud.

The three, who are all Zimbabweans, allegedly committed the fraud in a space of a year and one of the alleged accomplices is the senior official’s colleague, who worked as the acting compliance accountant at the Joburg Market.

According to Lucky Sindane from the City’s Group Forensic and Investigation Services (GFIS), they suspect that the alleged accomplices fled the country.

READ | Hawks arrest suspected Phoenix drug manufacturers

Sindane said the acting compliance accountant had powers to administer buyers’ guarantees at the market. 

The guarantees were loaded onto a buyer’s card that belonged to someone who died, without supporting documents from the bank as required, Sindane said.

The card is like a credit card for business people and they can increase their limits, Sindane added. However, before doing that, they are supposed to go to the bank to get supporting documents.

In this instance, he said, the owner of the card died and his family informed the market so that his card could be deleted from the system.

READ HERE | Man slapped with 15-year prison term for defrauding North West municipality of R1.7m

It is alleged that it was only deleted it for a day and later reactivated.

To test the waters, Sindane said, the suspects loaded guarantees of R40 000: 

The amount increased to R600 000 in March 2021 and to about R5.5 million in July 2021. It is also alleged that the suspects worked with a member of a public who used the buyers card to buy fruit and vegetables at the Joburg Market and sold them at a discounted amount to various business owners. The three suspects then pocketed the proceeds from the sales.

According to Sindane, investigations in the matter were sparked by the acting compliance accountant’s absence from work.

Sindane said they tried different ways of getting hold of him but were unsuccessful. His salary was stopped and when they went to his house, his brother told him that he left for Zimbabwe a long time ago. It later came to light that the man might have illegally obtained documents allowing him to stay in South Africa. It also appeared that he faked his qualifications to land the post at the Joburg Market. The developments unearthed the alleged fraud, Sindane said.

The City’s mayor, Mpho Moerane, commended the Hawks and the GFIS for acting “swiftly” in dealing with the matter. 

“We are confident that the other two suspects will be arrested soon. 

“Corruption has no place in this administration and we will work tirelessly and in collaboration with law enforcement agencies to ensure that the residents of Johannesburg receive the quality services they deserve,” he said.

“The City would like to encourage people to report any fraud and corruption activities through the 24-hour tip-off hotline 0800 002 587 or visit the GFIS offices situated at 48 Ameshoff Street in Braamfontein.”

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Woman who allegedly hacked husband to pieces and fled to Zimbabwe too ill for court – IOL

Rustenburg – The murder case against a 42-year-old woman accused of killing her husband six years ago and tossing his body parts in three different pit toilets was postponed at the Mankwe Magistrate’s Court in Mogwase on Tuesday due to her ill-health.

The court heard that Nancy Majonhi was too ill to attend court and was admitted to hospital where she was under police guard.

In her previous appearance, the court ordered she be subjected to mental examination before applying for bail.

Majonhi did not appear in court on October 12 due to ill-health, and the court was told she was refusing to eat while in police custody.

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She is accused of beating her husband Prosper Chipungare with a hammer until he lost consciousness, she then chopped him with a spade and disposed of his body parts in three pit toilets.

She, thereafter, thoroughly cleaned the place and went to Sun City police station, where she reported her husband was missing.

According to North West police, the incident occurred at a rented room in Ledig near Sun City on July 28, 2015, after the couple had a fight.

After the incident, Majonhi went home to Zimbabwe, where she confessed to her family and in-laws that she had killed her husband.

The families arranged to come to South Africa, and Majonhi handed herself over to the Sun City police.

Following her arrest, three pit latrines she pointed out as the places she had buried her husband’s body parts, were searched and the police managed to retrieve a skull and bones which would be subjected to deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) tests.

The case was postponed to November 9.

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Wedza Man Sentenced To Death For Killing Employer – New Zimbabwe.com

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By Mary Taruvinga


A WEDZA man Tapiwa Murombo has been sentenced to death for murdering his employer over a debt dispute.

The sentence was handed by a High Court judge, Justice Priscilla Munangati-Manongwa following Murombo’s conviction over the murder of Partson Musarandoga.

He was found guilty in 2015.

In delivering, her sentence the judge said Murombo failed to exonerate himself from the offense, and evidence produced in court weighed heavily against him.

The court proved that after killing his employer, Murombo wrote a suicide letter purporting to be Musarandoga.

In the fake letter, Musarandoga was said to have told his family to give Murombo a tonne of maize and 25 liters of diesel to cover up for the money owed.

Musarandoga’s body was found dumped at Rhodesdale dam a few days after he went missing.

Police immediately started investigations leading to the arrest of Murombo following a high-speed car chase along the Harare-Chirundu highway.

In court, Murombo pleaded not guilty to the charge, arguing he had parted ways with Musarandoga cordially after the two settled a US$4 000 tillage debt owed to him in exchange for a Toyota Vitz.

However, according to the state, on August 21, 2015, Murombo axed Musarandoga on the head at a farm situated along the Wedza road.

He then stole Musarandoga’s vehicle.

The state proved after committing the murder, Murombo went on to forge a suicide note with contents directing him to get proceeds from selling the deceased’s tonne of maize, diesel, and a car battery.

Murombo then disappeared to an unknown location before the deceased’s son called him looking for his father.

The court heard that Murombo provided two different addresses in Rusape to the deceased’s son where he claimed Musarandoga had relocated to with his new wife.

Murombo switched off his mobile phone before proceeding to Kariba to buy kapenta fish for resale.

However, after a tip-off, police officers from the Homicide Section pursued Murombo along the Harare-Chirundu highway where they shot him on his leg when he tried to escape.

The deceased’s particulars and a Nokia Asha 303 phone were found in Murombo’s possession.

He was later taken for indications at Rhodesdale dam in Wedza where Musarandoga’s body was found.

In her ruling, the judge said; “The court finds that the reasons advanced are not such as to convince the court not to pass the death sentence. In essence, after taking all factors into account, this court finds that there are no circumstances of a mitigating nature that would call for a lesser sentence.

“Neither a life sentence nor a sentence of not less than 20 years will meet the justice of the case. Thus, in the absence of any meaningful reasons advanced by the accused as to why the death sentence should not be imposed upon him, and the accused not being in the group that is excluded by s 48(2)(c) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) from receiving a death sentence, the accused is sentenced to death,” she said.

“The accused shall be returned to prison to be held until the execution of the sentence according to law.”

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Court finds Colombia responsible for rape, torture of journalist – Yahoo Eurosport UK

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights on Monday ruled that the state of Colombia bears responsibility for the ordeal of a female journalist who was kidnapped, raped and then tortured in 2000 by paramilitaries.

Jineth Bedoya was working for the El Espectador newspaper at the time, investigating a weapons smuggling ring, when she was abducted and assaulted by far-right militia members.

The paramilitaries, some of whom have since been convicted, were among the forces that fought left-wing guerrillas in Colombia until their official demobilization in 2006.

The acts against Bedoya “could not have been carried out without the consent and collaboration of the (Colombian) State, or at least with its tolerance,” the court, an autonomous part of the Organization of American States (OAS), ruled on Monday.

Bedoya, now 47, hailed the decision.

“October 18, 2021 goes down in history as the day when a struggle that began with an individual crime has led to the vindication of the rights of thousands of women who have been victims of sexual violence and of women journalists who leave a part of their lives in their work,” tweeted Bedoya, who was awarded the UNESCO World Press Freedom Prize last year.

Colombia “fully accepts the decision,” President Ivan Duque tweeted.

“I will always condemn any violent act against women and journalists,” he said. “The sentence should serve as a guide to actions that can be implemented to prevent anything like this from happening again.”

Bedoya had implicated agents of the state, in particular an “influential” general of the police force, in the attack, which started when she was kidnapped in front of La Modelo prison in the capital Bogota.

The paramilitaries tortured and raped her for 16 hours before leaving her lying naked by the side of a road.

Bedoya has said she has suffered two decades of “persecution, intimidation and constant threats.”

– ‘Deadly dangers’ –

The Colombian state was guilty of “failing to investigate the threats that had been received” by Bedoya, according to a statement released by the judicial wing of the OAS, headquartered in Costa Rica.

The failure to investigate violated Bedoya’s “rights to judicial guarantees, judicial protection and equality before the law,” the court ruled.

It also ordered Colombia to “punish those remaining responsible for the acts of violence,” and called for other measures including the creation of a training program for public officials and security forces focused on violence against women.

It made no reference, however, to the closure of La Modelo — one of Bedoya’s main requests.

The Colombian state had apologized to the journalist before the same court in March, when it also ordered the government to immediately ensure the safety of Bedoya and her mother, who had both been victims of threats — including a 1999 attack on both that the state failed to investigate.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights had referred the case to the court in 2019. Its decisions are definitive and unappealable.

The Press Freedom Foundation (FLIP) welcomed Monday’s “dignified” decision for a woman who “has tirelessly sought justice for more than 20 years.”

And the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) called it “a historic acknowledgment of the deadly dangers that Colombia’s female journalists face.”

“The Colombian government has for years refused to acknowledge or make amends for its responsibility in this case,” it said in a statement.

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