CAPE TOWN, August 31 – Oudtshoorn Mayor Colan Sylvester has on Thursday, welcomed the judgment and sentencing of a former employee who was sentenced to an effective six years for fraud and money laundering earlier this week.
Thandile Wilbarforce Salman, 34, appeared in the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Bellville before Magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg this week and was sentenced to a total of nine years, of which three were suspended, on five counts of fraud and one of money laundering, altogether involving R225,900.
It was incorrectly reported earlier that Salman had been a former municipal manager but he was in fact a former human resources (HR) clerk at the municipality.
“This sentencing can serve as a warning to other municipal officials to stay corrupt free and perform their duties as expected by the public that we serve. It also sends a strong message that, even if it takes years, justice will be served where wrong has been done,” Sylvester said.
Salman, who was arrested in 2012 following investigations involving the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation’s (known as the Hawks) Serious Commercial Crime Unit, had pleaded not guilty and had maintained his innocence right to the very end.
The magistrate had found that Salman had used the bank accounts of friends and family in order to divert money fraudulently obtained to himself.
“In some instances, you even lied to them about the reason that you needed to use their bank accounts,” she told him.
“Lies are often the seeds that grow into fraudulent trees.”
— In the earlier report, it was also incorrectly reported that two officials at the Oudtsthoorn Municipality, Ronnie Lottering and Noel Petersen, were currently out on bail pending the outcome of their appeal against a prison sentence for fraud.
It has since been brought to ANA’s attention that Lottering himself has never been convicted or sentenced on any criminal charges – the information furnished to ANA was, in fact incorrect.
ANA regrets the error, and apologises for it, as well as any inconvenience or embarrassment that it may have caused.