post office hit by scam

POLICE are looking for four people who can help them convict nine suspects who robbed, stole from and defrauded the South African Post Office of R2,4million over four months.

Former high-ranking post office officials, tellers and their friends are expected to appear in the Johannesburg high court next month to face charges, including racketeering.

The nine people - two branch managers, five tellers and two other men - were arrested following a spate of robberies at post offices in Ekurhuleni in 2008.

Police say the four people may have information about a syndicate that was operating in Gauteng and bordering provinces in 2008.

SA Post Office security and investigations general manager Patrick Ngomane said: "The syndicate stole about R2,4million from post offices in more than four months. The two men who were not employed by Sapo would rob the post office and then lock up staff. The employees knew how to use our production system which records all transaction and accessed it and then transferred money into false accounts through Post Bank."

Ngomane said the investigation started as soon as they noticed an increase in such robberies.

"Large amounts of money were stolen from post offices. Of the R2,4million, about R320000 was stolen through the transactions. We managed to stop all the bank accounts," he said.

He said after the arrests, the tellers were suspended with pay. They were later dismissed.

Gauteng police spokesperson Inspector Sefako Xaba appealed to Michael Nxumalo, Simon Moseneke, Ncala Khumalo, and SSB Mothlaping to come forward.

Xaba said the syndicate was alleged to have stolen identity documents from the post office.

"They stole the ID books and committed fraud. They also robbed post offices," he said.

"We have been to Nxumalo, Moseneke, Khumalo and Mothlaping's houses but we could not find them. We believe that they could help with the investigations."

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of the four is requested to call the investigating officer Detective Superintendent Beukman on 082-568-4502 or 011-871-5624.