The Mpumalanga couple, Hlobisile Lindokuhle Mthembu and Bongisipho Robert Mthembu were found guilty and sentenced by the Nelspruit Commercial Crime Court on Monday, 16 August 2021 for over a million rand fraud in terms of Section 18 (1) Act 121 of 1998 of POCA read with Section 21 (3) of GEPF 21 of 1996.
In 2007, Hlobisile submitted fraudulent qualifications for primary teachers post and she was employed at Maphala Gulube Primary School and the Department of Education suffered an actual loss of R584 815.78.
Three years later, she recruited Robert who also submitted fraudulent qualification and was also employed at the same school. He was later transferred to another primary school and the department suffered an actual loss of another R584 815.78.
The whistle-blower reported the information to the department and an audit was conducted whereby teachers were required to submit original qualification certificates but the couple did not submit.
In November 2016, the investigation ensued and the couple resigned.
They were arrested in August 2018 respectively. The accused were each sentenced to six years imprisonment wholly suspended for five years on condition that they are not found guilty of fraud during the period of suspension.