R500 million ‘Royal Bafokeng Holdings’ fraudsters sentenced

South African Police Service

R500 million ‘Royal Bafokeng Holdings’ fraudsters sentenced
R500 million 'Royal Bafokeng Holdings' fraudsters sentenced

The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation has welcomed the conviction of three accused after they were found guilty and sentenced for fraud on Friday 28 August 2020.

Goci Nwabisa (31), Tshepo Daniel Sehlapelo (29) and Lifty Nkabe Makalela (43) were convicted by the Mokopane Regional Court following their arrest in July 2018.

The convicts approached an Absa bank official in Burgersfort posing as signatories of Royal Bafokeng Holdings. They presented fraudulent identity document and asked the bank employee to assist in opening an account to transfer R500 million from Royal Bafokeng Holdings into the new account.

The official became suspicious, alerted the authorities and Nwabisa, Sehlapelo and Aaron Madanda (42) were arrested immediately after the Hawks Serious Commercial Investigation were requested to assist.

During the investigation, it was discovered that there was a fourth suspect, Lifty Nkabe Makalela (43) who was believed to be the mastermind behind the attempted fraud. He was later arrested at his home in Alexandra (Johannesburg) following an intensive investigation by the Hawks Commercial Investigation.

Nwabisa, Sehlapelo, and Makalela were granted bail after appearing several times in the Praktiseer Magistrate’s Court except for Madanda who is currently serving a jail term for another similar but unrelated fraud that he had committed.

On 6 August 2020, Nwabisa, Sehlapelo, and Makalela were found guilty for fraud and remanded in custody for sentencing.

Nwabisa, Sehlapelo and Makalela were each sentenced to 15 years direct imprisonment for fraud. Nwabisa and Sehlapelo were also sentenced to another two years direct imprisonment for contravention of Section 18 (1) of the Identification Act. They were further declared unfit to possess a firearm.

The sentences are to run concurrently.

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SOURCESouth African Police Service