Cops may face petrol fraud case

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

The case involving four Namakgale police officers accused of defrauding the SAPS of money amounting to several thousands of rands, will be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions for a decision on whether to prosecute or not.

This was revealed by Phalaborwa magistrate Helen Buitendag during the four police officers' appearance yesterday.

The accused are Sergeant Matome Steven Mafa, 35, Constable Benny Nyiko Shandlane, 24, Constable Brian Mtembule, 29, and 33-year-old Constable Melda Mindlovu.

They appeared together with 12 other offenders from a petrol garage. They were accused of working with the police to defraud the SAPS and the garage.

The accused all pleaded not guilty during their first court appearance. They are all out on R1000 bail each.

According to the police, the 12 petrol attendants had allegedly connived with the four police officers to sell petrol from the garage through fraudulent means. The petrol attendants allegedly filled a number of vehicles with petrol without issuing receipts.

"After seven or eight vehicles had been filled, a police van would go and put in a small amount of petrol. The police driver would then collect the receipt from the cashier. The police officer would then claim the money at the police station.

"The money would include all that was accrued from the other vehicles which had been filled before the police van," said police spokesman Superintendent Mohale Ramatseba.

After the money had been claimed, the officers and attendants shared the money.

The scam was discovered in January this year by the owner of the garage who then reported the matter to the police.