Robert Nkosi was sentenced to three years imprisonment which is suspended for five years on Friday, 9 April 2021 and also ordered to pay back the eThekwini Municipality R280 090.00.
The sentencing follows Nkosi’s tendering of a guilty plea after him and other accused were investigated and arrested by the National Clean Audit Task Team.
It is alleged that in 2018 an official employee of the eThekwini Municipality misrepresented to the members of the public that he had secured a tender with eThekwini Municipality and recruited them to be his employees to the tender project. The said official further informed them that as a requirement to the Municipality, he must provide proof that he had staff members and all have bank accounts. He then further hired a taxi to take them to Pietermaritzburg to open bank accounts.
In Pietermaritzburg, he convinced the alleged employees that he would have to take their bank cards and pin codes with him to produce same to the Municipality. He also instructed all of them to use one cell phone number as their contact number when opening the accounts and at the same time gave all of them R1000.00 each to open the accounts. Two weeks later, the Municipality paid the amount of R31 000.00 into each of the bank accounts as EPWP employees but he had only paid each of them R1 000.00 cash and the municipality was prejudiced R400 000.00.
Nkosi must also ensure that he does not commit theft or fraud according to Section 4(b) read with 7A, and 8(1) of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act 121 of 1998 during the period of suspension.
In paying back R 280 090.00 to the eThekwini Municipality, Nkosi must pay R 4 235-00 on/ or before the 10 May 2021 and thereafter pay R 4 235-00 on/or before the 15th of each succeeding month over a period of sixty (60) months until the last payment is made on 15 May 2026.
The accused is to pay the said amount to the clerk of the Court at the Durban Magistrates Court and it will thereafter be paid over to the eThekwini Municipality. Nkosi is to undergo (3) years correctional supervision in terms of Section 276(1)h of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977.
Nkosi joins his other co-accused Enoch Mthethwa (Private Person) who was sentenced on 17 May 2020 and had to re-pay R6 800,00 to the eThekwini Municipality and Dumisani Nxumalo (Private Person) who was sentenced on 3 December 2019 and had to repay R67 564,70 to the eThekwini Municipality.
The case was remanded till 14 April 2021 for the remaining three accused persons, Andile Nthangase, Bongani Ntshangase and Xolani Vilane for sentencing.
The National Clean Audit Task Teams which was established to fast-track these investigations into fraud and corruption in the municipalities with immediate impact will continue to do so. With convictions such as these, a clear message is sent out that the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) is combatting fraud and corruption without fear and favour.
The National Head of the DPCi, Lieutenant General Lebeya welcomes the sentence and further commend the team of Investigators and prosecutions who have worked tirelessly on this matter. “This sentence sends a clear message that crime does not pay. Those who have benefitted from crime must pay back those proceeds of their criminal activity.”