Bank suspends two 'pension swindlers'

Alfred Moselakgomo

Alfred Moselakgomo

First National Bank has suspended two consultants who allegedly swindled customers of tens of thousands of rands at a branch in Mpumalanga.

The bank will also reimburse customers who fell victim to the scam at its branch in Acornhoek.

Sydwell Nthane, 37, and Johan Sibeta, 26, will appear before an internal hearing today.

Solomon Mabunda, 64, of Rooiboklaagte near Hazyview, told Sowetan yesterday that he had lost the R50000 pension he had deposited in his account in April.

"I worked for TSB Sugar Company in Malelane for 40 years," Mabunda said.

"When I retired last year I put all my pension money into the account at FNB after I was assured that my money would grow rapidly.

"But I was shocked when I discovered that my investment had vanished and the bank said it knew nothing about the account."

Eight more victims later laid charges of fraud and theft against the consultants.

FNB spokesman Steve Higgins said the disciplinary committee would determine today what further action the bank should take.

Nthane and Sibeta were arrested last week. They are accused of coercing pensioners into a fraudulent scheme, promising it would yield huge profits, said police spokesman Leonard Hlathi.

The victims later found that all their money had been illegally withdrawn from their accounts.

The accused pair are out on bail and will appear in court on December 10.

"A forensic team is determining the losses suffered and will assist and reimburse all customers who suffered," Higgins said.

Other victims of the scam are asked to call Captain Jerry Maphanga on 082-494-1597.