Twenty-eight female guards were unfairly dismissed by a security company because the client‚ Metrora.
Ntokozo Mathebula cried quietly as the KaBokweni magistrate's court sent her to prison for three years after being convicted on six counts of fraud.
The 23-year-old woman convinced people to give her thousands of rands in exchange for fictitious jobs at Transnet over a period of years.
In mitigation Mathebula told magistrate Mandla Sambo that she had three young children, one of whom was under the age of one and another was sickly.
"It is my humble submission before this court that I have three children who are still young.
"If the court imposes a suspended sentence, I will be able to provide for the children," said Mathebula.
Sambo, however, sentenced her to three years imprisonment yesterday and suspended one year for five years on condition that she was not convicted of a similar offence.
Mathebula allegedly convinced people, most of them her friends, to pay her between R3 500 and R10 000 in exchange for jobs at Transnet, where she claimed she worked in the human resources section.
Her victims included a Nelspruit-based police reservist Nonhlanhla Sibanyoni and two other women employed at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital laboratory.
The two women, Mpumi Buyeye and Thuli Ngwenya, claimed they gave Mathebula R5 000 and R8 000, respectively.
Buyeye was later refunded.
Mathebula was arrested during a sting operation at Rocky's Drift between Nelspruit and White River in February this year.