Media Statement from Directorate of Priority Crimes Investigation (HAWKS)
South African Police Service
PRETORIA – Following a protracted criminal matter the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crime Court has convicted four accused on Monday, January 15. The suspects, Philemon Radichaba Mohlahlane (62), Manyaba Rubben Mohlaloga (44) Dinga Rammy Nkhwashu (40) and Dingamanzi Ka Dinga (Inc.) representing Masepula Dinga Attorneys firm have been found guilty of defrauding the Land Bank of approximately R6million rand in 2008.
During January 2008, in Polokwane the accused, with the aid of the influential Mohlahlane, who was the Land Bank Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at the time conspired and transferred R6 Million into a trust account of Masepule Dinga attorneys.
The funds were transferred from Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment framework for Agriculture, Commonly known as (Agri-Bee). This was done without following due processes as Mohlahlane subverted the procedures and instructed the fund manager at Agri-Bee to authorise the said payment without supporting documents.
The fund manager who eventually turned state witness during the trial only received an application for the grant about a month after the payment was made. The said application was in relation with funding to acquire land, livestock and processing units.
After the R6 Million was received in the trust account of Masepule Dinga attorneys, the funds were distributed between the suspects and a farm was bought for R2m as well as an X5 BMW and a BMW 118i for Mohlaloga, who was a member of Parliament and the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee of Agriculture at the time. R2, 2m was transferred to the business accounts of Masepule Dinga attorneys and used for personal benefit of Nkhwashu.
Contrary to what the application stated, the money was never used for the benefit of farm workers and/or upcoming farmers, but rather for the accused’s personal benefit. The group was arrested by the Hawks’ Serious Corruption Crime Unit in October 2012 after a case was opened at Brooklyn police station culminating in relentless investigations thereafter.
The accused have been found guilty of fraud and money laundering in contravention of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, which amongst other things prohibits unlawful acquisition, possession or use of proceeds of crime.
Deliberations of mitigating factors are expected to be heard in March 8, and sentencing in April 3, 2018.
The Acting National Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, Lieutenant General, Yolisa Matakata, has welcomed this landmark conviction, she has also extended her appreciation to the investigating team and the justice system for a job well done.
“Without a shadow of doubt, this is testament once again that South Africa has a very competent and efficient judiciary system. Justice ought to be impartial and objective at all times, regardless of who the accused is and their status in the community. We want to particularly thank our investigating team for presenting a water tight case to the court. We hope this conviction will serve as a deterrent to others”. She concluded.
Media Enquiries: Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi 082 373 2408
More Appsa News Updates: