Cops, 12 pertol attendants arrested

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

Three Limpopo police officers and 12 Engen filling station petrol attendants will appear in the Phalaborwa magistrates' court today to face charges of fraud.

Sergeant Matome Steven Mafa, 35, constable Benny Nyiko Shandlale, 24 and constable Brian Mtebule, 29 will face fraud charges.

They are alleged to have defrauded the SA Police Service of several thousands of rands.

The 12 other suspects are: Elvis Mlombo, 31, Given Shai, 26, Royal Mashele, 31, Vaiky Shai, 27, Shadrack Morema, 31, Botani Mkhari, 28, Gilbert Silinda, 26, Lanios Mosome, 32, Foster Mokwekwe, 34, Abby Sekgobela 33, Steward Tembe, 25, and Willy Mokwena, 26.

Limpopo police spokesman Superintendent Mohale Ramatseba said the suspects allegedly colluded to defraud the SAPS and Engen garage in Ga-Nodia near Majeje in the Phalaborwa area.

The petrol attendants had allegedly been filling petrol into a sizeable number of vehicles without issuing receipts.

After filling up more than 10 different vehicles they would then put a little petrol in a police vehicle and then issue a receipt.

The same receipt would reflect the amount of petrol filled in the other cars. They would then give the receipt to the police to make false claims at work.

"The police officers claimed 60percent of the money from the fake receipts, while the petrol attendants claimed 40percent," said Ramatseba.

Ramatseba said the scam, which allegedly started in January, had seen both the filling station and SAPS being defrauded of more than R100000.

The suspects appeared in the Phalaborwa magistrates' court on Thursday on 36 counts of fraud and were denied bail.