Hawks confirm arrest of 21st person in R103m Absa fraud case

Twenty-one people have been arrested in connection with the theft of R103m from Absa. File photo.
Twenty-one people have been arrested in connection with the theft of R103m from Absa. File photo.

Another person has been arrested and appeared in court in connection with the R103m Absa fraud case, according to the Hawks.

Thembinkosi Advocate Majikela appeared in the specialised commercial crimes court sitting in the Palm Ridge magistrate's court on Thursday.

He was arrested after a Mercedes-Benz AMG A35 allegedly purchased by Gershom Matomane in November 2021 was registered in his name.

Hawks spokesperson W/O Wendy Nkabi said: "[Majikela], aged 40, was issued with a warrant of arrest and charged with theft and contravention of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act by members of the Hawks’ serious commercial crimes investigation [unit] in Johannesburg on August 15.

“It is alleged that between September 2021 and December 2021, [the late] Xolela Masebeni, an Absa employee employed as an IT specialist engineer, transferred more than R103m to various unauthorised beneficiaries.

“Masebeni further transferred more than R15m to Maduna Gubevu Trading, whose sole director is Matomane. Matomane was subsequently arrested in Bellville, where he appeared and was granted bail. While in custody, Matomane instructed his girlfriend to purchase a [Mercedes]-Benz priced at R1m and [have it] registered in the accused's name.”

The car was then reportedly traded in for R900,000 at a Johannesburg dealership and thereafter Matomane apparently opted to buy a Polo GTI for R600,000 and transferred the remaining amount to Majikela. 

“The accused then transferred R280,000 to Matomane’s girlfriend’s Capitec account. The accused handed himself [over], accompanied by his representative, [on Thursday] at the Hawks’ offices,” Nkabi said.

“He appeared in court and was granted R5,000 bail to appear again on January 30 2024.”

Majikela is the 21st person to be arrested in connection with the alleged siphoning of millions from the bank over four months.

The fraudulent transactions were uncovered by Absa’s forensic division which reported the matter to the police.

The National Prosecuting Authority has recovered R66m so far.

Apart from Masebeni, Matomane and his company Maduna Gubevu Trading, the other accused in the matter are:

  • Masebeni's wife Athembile Mpani;
  • Matomane's girlfriend Penelope Thandiwe Mphahlele;
  • traditional healer Khumbulani Elvis Ntombela;
  • Masebeni's ex-girlfriend Nonelwa Nondlazi;
  • Sicelimpilo Simphiwe Msomi;
  • Phaphamani Sichwe;
  • Sicelo Ndebele and
  • prison warder Ayanda Windvoël.

According to a News24 article, other accused are: 

  • Mpani's mother Nolitha Constance Mpani;
  • Thembelihle Racaza;
  • Mduduzi Sichiwe Msomi;
  • Simphiwe Magobiyane;
  • Malusi Shepherd Mtyhalela and his wife Belinda Bongiwe Mtyhalela;
  • Nontobeko Benmazwi and her husband Thozamile Benmazwi; and
  • Hlomla Folman.

The case against Masebeni was withdrawn last year after his death. 


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