On the 26 May 2022, the Mthatha Specialised Commercial Crimes Court sentenced Pumla Ningiza (60) to R100 000-00 fine or 8 years imprisonment. In addition she was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment which was wholly suspended provided she does not commit the same offences during the period of suspension.
During the period between November 2015 and May 2018, Ningiza as the Sheriff was instructed by attorneys and banks to be responsible for selling on auction and depositing the money to the Sheriff’s account and keeping the money until the time is right to be paid to the deserving beneficiaries.
In another incident on 6 November 2015, a buyer paid R167 000-00 to the Sheriff’s Trust account to be paid to the seller when the transfer processes are finalised.
On 21 April 2017, a sum of R620 000-00 was paid for the property sold and auctioned by Ningiza was deposited in the Sheriff’s Trust account pending the finalisation of transfers.
In the last instance on 16 March 2018, Ningiza sold another house on auction received the amount of R171 000-00 also to be deposited in Sheriff’s Trust account.
Ningiza was legally obliged to hold the aforesaid amounts in the Sheriff’s Trust account and not to utilise any portion thereof for any purpose other than what it was intended for. However, on application for their funds, beneficiaries could not be paid hence they lodged a complaint with the South African Board of Sheriffs.
The matter was referred to Mthatha based Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team of the Hawks for probing. The investigations revealed that the victims were prejudiced cash to the value of R995 000-00.
Ningiza was arrested on 3 December 2020 and was released on R7 000-00 bail at her first appearance. After a series of court appearances she was ultimately sentenced.
The Provincial Head Major General Obed Ngwenya once more lauded the team for their expertise in using their detection skills to combat crime.