Two pensioners are almost R300 000 poorer after allegedly being scammed by a Madibeng municipality employee who ‘sold’ them non-existent municipal fleet cars.
Emily Malao (68) and her brother, Abiot Chengwe, also a pensioner, ‘bought’ three vehicles from the employee who works at the municipality’s fire department and collectively paid R345 000 into an account.
“My brother retired and wanted to start a small business. He was looking for a vehicle and was approached by the woman who said she can get a good price on the municipality’s fleet vehicles that were being sold off. He paid R60 000 for a car and another R220 000 for a minibus. Soon afterwards I was involved in an accident and the woman offered me a Toyota Corolla Prestige for R55 000. We were sent photos of the vehicles, VIN and registration numbers. I paid the money into an account,” Emily said. The monies were paid around September last year.
“During the past months we have been enquiring regularly when we will be receiving our vehicles and every time there was an excuse. Either the paperwork was not done, or the papers were with the registration authorities, and then the vehicles were supposedly in for a service. We started suspecting we might have been scammed.”
Emily approached Kormorant for help and supplied us with records of conversations. After Kormorant put in an enquiry with the municipality, Emily was contacted by municipal officials and promised that an investigation was underway. The municipality responded to Kormorant saying that there was no sale of any municipal vehicles during the last year. “We have nonetheless commenced with the process of collating information which should assist with us to launch a fully fledged investigation”.
Emily and her brother has consequently opened fraud cases at the Brits police. According to police spokesperson, Colonel Adele Myburgh, the police are investigating two cases of fraud against a suspect.
According to Emily she has not heard from the municipality again. “However, last week I was contacted by the person who paid R30 000 back into my account with the request that I do not attend a hearing.”
The Madibeng municipality this week said that the implicated official had been suspended. “Investigations are ongoing,” said municipal spokesperson, Tumelo Tshabalala.
The police are asking other possible victims to come forward and report cases to the police.