Four officials of the Education Department are arrested for fraud

Pumza Fihlani

Pumza Fihlani

Four officials of the Gauteng Department of Education have been arrested in connection with the ghost teachers scam which has cost the department R800000.

Provincial Education Department spokesman Panyaza Lesufi yesterday said the fraud happened between February and August.

This week the four officials appeared in the Johannesburg specialised commercial crimes' court on fraud charges.

Yesterday Ray Ncube, 39, and Silvestor Mlotshwa, 27, who were arrested in September, made their second appearance at the court. They were both remanded in custody.

This week Rendani Nemukula, 38, and July Mboba, 39, were released on a R6000 and R10000 bail respectively after they appeared in the same court.

Their case has been postponed to next year.

Johannesburg police spokesman Superintendent Lungelo Dlamini said they were looking for two other suspects.

"Our investigations are continuing and we are following leads."

Dlamini said the suspects managed to defraud the department with the help of staff.

He said Department of Education's staff participated in the scam by "registering" an unemployed or former department employee and deposited salaries and other payments into his or her account.

Lesufi said Soweto was the worst hit by the scam.

National Department of Education spokesman Lunga Ngqengelele could not say how much has been lost because of the scam.

Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal Education Departments have also been hit.

"The different provincial departments keep records of that information and it would be difficult to reveal how much has been lost. But we are winning the war against perpetrators of the scam," said Ngqengelele.