Serial fraudster used top titles to cheat people and companies

CONMAN'S MOTHER: Elisah Budeli. 25/01/2009. Pic. Elijar Mushiana.  © Sowetan.
CONMAN'S MOTHER: Elisah Budeli. 25/01/2009. Pic. Elijar Mushiana. © Sowetan.

Sibongile Mashaba

Sibongile Mashaba

Samson Khaukanani Budeli, a suspected serial fraudster, has used several titles to con people and companies of thousands of rands.

The 35-year-old conman has allegedly posed as a doctor, mining magnate, top businessman, diamond dealer, major shareholder at bread company Sasko and at cement firm AfriSam. The two companies deny knowing him.

Gauteng and Limpopo police said on Thursday that since the Sowetan exposé, more people were coming forward to lay charges.

Budeli allegedly masqueraded as a doctor from Limpopo who was in Gauteng to do research on amyloid.

He is alleged to have fraudulently written a letter of confirmation and gave it to personnel at Croco Lodge on the West Rand.

Gauteng police spokesman Inspector Sanku Tsunke said 11 cases are being investigated against Budeli.

On Thursday Sowetan reported that a gang led byBudeli allegedly hijacked and kidnapped a woman, 49, in Lichtenburg, North West and demanded R100000 for her release. The woman claimed that Budeli and his gang planted "diamonds" and said they were hers.

She said she still feared for her life because some of the people involved were never arrested.

North West police spokesman Superintendent Lesego Metsi said: "Budeli has been identified as one of the suspects. There is also a possibility that he could be using several names."

Mphephu police spokesman Lazarus Netshidzati said the money sought totalled to about R190000.

A couple from Limpopo said that Budeli wanted to go into business with them in Tshikondeni Mine, outside Musina, in 2006.

Herbert and Dolly Ndou said after they deposited R25000 into the Samdel Business Enterprise bank account, they never heard from Budeli again.

Budeli is expected to appear in the Johannesburg commercial crime's today on charges of fraud. - Additional reporting by Alex Matlala