Bank scam suspects duck hearing

Alfred Moselakgomo

Alfred Moselakgomo

An internal hearing against two suspects who allegedly swindled First National Bank customers of thousands of rands in Mpumalanga has been postponed to today.

Sydwell Nthane and Johan Sibeta failed to show up at their hearing yesterday after their lawyer allegedly advised them not to attend without him.

But the bank said according to its procedures only a representative from the finance union Sasbo- or a colleague was allowed, and postponed the hearing.

"A new hearing has been scheduled for tomorrow [today] and we will have a final outcome in this matter on December 3," said FNB spokesman, Steve Higgins.

"At the same time, we are assisting customers of the Acornhoek branch, who lost money, by first auditing the losses and then making reimbursements," he said.

Higgins said customers who had been victims of the scam should visit the branch and make a formal claim for reimbursement.

Last week FNB suspended the two for allegedly robbing rich elderly people who have accounts with the bank.

So far it has been established that the two had taken R100 000 from client's accounts.

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The victims later found that money had been illegally withdrawn from their accounts.

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

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