Two senior Hawks members in Mpumalanga have been sentenced for defrauding the police unit of R1 700 in accommodation claims in 2016.
One of the men, Captain Peter Molapo (58), who was stationed at the organised crime unit of the Hawks in Mpumalanga, has been undergoing trial for fraud, theft, forgery and uttering since 2006, but police management somehow failed to charge him internally when the criminal case surfaced.
Recently, Molapo was the member of the Mpumalanga cash-in-transit heist task team appointed to curb the scourge, which involved millions of rands.
Mpumalanga National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Monica Nyuswa said Molapo and former Hawks anti-corruption unit commander, Richard Nkwanyana (48), were sentenced by the Middelburg Regional Court to six and five years behind bars respectively.
During 2006, the pair colluded and submitted false subsistence and travel claims to SAPS finance section that they were booked at a guest house for two nights whereas they only stayed for one day and claimed an amount of R850 a person by changing the dates on the invoices and manipulating the computer system
Monica Nyuswa, NPA spokesperson
During trial, the state led by Advocate Patrick Nkuna heard testimony from the owner of the guest house, and evidence of the finance personnel from the police who told the court that there were discrepancies on the invoices the pair submitted – the letterhead and the special manager’s discount.
“The state also led evidence of the handwriting expert who also testified that the invoices were forged,” she added.
The court heard that local Middelburg prosecutors kept on striking the case off the court roll until it was transferred to Nkuna in the NPA’s head office in Pretoria.
After the conviction of the two police officers early last month, Molapo immediately resigned.
Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi could not explain why management had not launched an internal investigation.
“The fact of the matter is that this matter should have been reported and appropriate action taken. Ordinarily, Molapo would be charged internally and, depending on the circumstances, suspended from work,” Mulaudzi said at the time.
Nkwanyana is also facing three counts of theft and defeating the ends of justice in the Nelspruit regional court involving R440 000. Nyuswa, said Nkwanyana, allegedly helped himself to money confiscated from rhino poachers.
“It is alleged that the police would seize money from the rhino poachers, book it in, and Nkwanyana would book it out and the money was never seen again. The breakdown of the money he stole is as follows: R 43 500, R 232 400 and R 164 500,” Nyuswa said.
Nkwanyana’s trial is set to resume on Wednesday.