MATATIELE – Four (4) suspects accused of fraud, theft and corruption made a brief appearance in the Matatiele magistrate court today Friday 30 October 2020 for bail hearing and were subsequently granted bail of R1500-00 each and released under stringent conditions as stipulated by the court.
The court process follows after a systematic and meticulous investigation conducted by the SAPS Provincial Anti-Corruption Unit between August and September months in response to reports of misuse of the South African Police Service petrol cards.
According to the report, the arrested police officer would collect all the SAPS petrol cards of all vehicles which had been brought to the garage for mechanical problems. Whilst these vehicles were still being attended in the garage, he would meanwhile use the different petrol cards in collaboration with petrol attendants, a supervisor and cashiers in exchange for cash.
After this practice was discovered by the authorities, a criminal case was registered and investigation ensued. Eventually, in the early hours of Wednesday the 28 October 2020 at about 05:00, the suspects including the 40-year-old police officer Sergeant Moatisi Patrick Mohapi who is stationed at Mbizeni Police Station were arrested.
The other three (3) suspects include Siphesihle Zondi 32-years-old, Phathizizwe Agreement Mafunda 30-years-old and Warona Mokoatle 29-years-old. The estimated value of the money that has been defrauded at this stage is around R26, 000-00 but as the investigation continues it is expected to be in excess of R53 000-00. The case has been postponed to the 26 November 2020 to allow investigators to continue with their investigations.
The work of the Anti-Corruption Unit has been hailed by the Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Liziwe Ntshinga who vowed to ensure that the SAPS image is portrayed in a very professional manner. “I have continually and consistently recorded that the SAPS has no room for unethical police officers who lack professional integrity, and for this reason the law will continue to take its path. There is absolutely no excuse for a government servant to steal from the public coffers” General Ntshinga concluded.