Cape Town – The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has welcomed the hefty sentence handed to three former bank employees who defrauded the Johannesburg Securities Exchange (JSE) and Samancor of funds amounting to more than R190 million.
The accused, Dimakatso Prudence Ramakgole, 34, Seatile Pauline Senoamadi, 44, and Motsiri Peter Ramahlarerwa, 58, were each sentenced to 15 years in prison by the Makopane regional court.
NPA spokesperson Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi said the court heard how the syndicate operated in their capacity as Absa employees in Limpopo and Gauteng when they accessed the portfolios of JSE Trustees and the Samancor Foundation without authorisation.
She said they unlawfully transferred funds from the JSE and Samancor’s bank accounts.
“On 26 July 2019, near Lephalale, the accused unlawfully, falsely and with intent to defraud, and misrepresent to Samancor Foundation or Absa, that they were authorised to transfer an amount of R2.9 million, made changes to the JSE’s banking portfolio and added their own. On 12 August 2019, a transfer of R30 million was made from Samancor Foundation, and on 23 September 2019, an overall amount of over R158 million.”
Absa had to reimburse the JSE and Samancor Foundation a joint amount of more than R190 million, according to Malabi-Dzhangi.
“In mitigation of sentence, the defence lawyer of the accused submitted that the court should depart from the prescribed minimum sentence as the accused were first-time offenders and they showed remorse,” said Malabi-Dzhangi.
However, state advocate Sammy Mogoshi argued that the accused committed a serious offence, and
“Mogoshi further told the court that fraud poses a serious threat to our economy and democratic state and cases of this nature are of national concern. There is a huge cry in society that the courts must address fraud by imposing appropriate sentences,” said Malabi-Dzhangi.
She said Mogoshi asked the court to impose a custodial sentence to deter the accused and would-be offenders
Compiled by Olwethu Mpeshe