Pieter Jacobus Adams (56) who was employed by the Bergrivier Municipality Piketberg as a Chief Clerk: Credit Control from 1 July 2002 until his resignation on 25 November 2019, was on 7 March 2023, arrested arrested and released on R500-00 bail by the Piketberg District Magistrate Court on four hundred and thirty five (435) charges of fraud.
This comes after his arrest by the Cape Town Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team on 7 March 2023.
It is alleged that on 19 September 2019 through preliminary investigation, it was discovered that the prepaid electricity meter of the accused was replaced and changed to an indigent tariff and the token to effect the said change was issued by the accused himself. This was not reported to his manager.
An internal investigation was done and it discovered that during the period March 2016 until September 2019, the suspect issued free electricity tokens on prepaid meters that were not replaced on prepaid meters customers.
It was also further detected that free electricity tokens were issued on a monthly basis in respect of the same prepaid meters and that free electricity tokens were issued outside normal office hours and within normal office hours.
It was found that a number of pre-paid meters had significant amounts of electricity units loaded on them in circumstances when the customers had not bought electricity from the municipality for a long time and therefore ought to have had few units if any at all. No supporting documents could be found for the issuing of free electricity tokens generated by the accused. The investigation further revealed that during the period March 2016 to September 2019, the accused issued 700 918.3 units free electricity tokens for pre-paid meters for customers to the value of over R1,3 million which he had no authority to do.
The accused would receive cash from the customers and keep it for himself and then load free electricity tokens on the system for the customers which he was not entitled to do. The matter against the accused has been postponed to the 24 March 2023 for legal representative.