Former home affairs official sentenced for ID fraud

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Former home affairs official sentenced for ID fraud
© Provided by The South African

A former KwaZulu-Natal home affairs official has been sentenced to jail for her involvement in helping foreign nationals to fraudulently get SA identity documents.

The foreign nationals then went on to use the fraudulently obtained ID documents to apply for SASSA social grants, which they had then benefited from.

Sbulelo Malanda, 44, was sentenced to four years direct imprisonment after she was found guilty of charges of fraud and corruption.

SAPS spokesperson, Captain Simphiwe Mhlongo, said that Malanda had worked for the Department of Home Affairs in its  Umzimkhulu offices at the time of committing the offences. 

“In 2017 she colluded with her accomplices and assisted the foreign nationals to obtain South African Identity Documents fraudulently. As a result, those foreign nationals unduly benefited from social grants from the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA),” Mhlongo said.

“A case of fraud and corruption was reported at Umzimkhulu police station. The case docket was allocated to Hawks members from Durban Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team for intensive investigation and they were arrested  in August 2017,” Mhlongo said.

Official’s accomplices sentenced for ID fraud

Mhlongo said that the suspects had appeared in court several times until her accomplices were found guilty in 2018. They were sentenced to two years imprisonment which was suspended for five years on condition that they are not found guilty of fraud or corruption during the period of suspension.

“Malanda continued to attend court until she was found guilty in June last year. She was sentenced to four years direct imprisonment for three counts of fraud and another four years imprisonment for three counts of corruption,” Mhlongo said. She was further sentenced to six months imprisonment for contravention of Immigration Act. The home affair’s official’s sentence will run concurrently.

In a separate incident in KZN on Wednesday police arrested a gang of suspects who burgled a liquor store in Highflats. SAPS spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said the suspects fled the scene in their getaway vehicle when they spotted the police vehicle approaching. 

“A bolt cutter was used to gain access into the shop and alcohol, cigarettes as well as cash were among other items were stolen. A case of burglary was opened at the Highflats police station for investigation,” she said.

“Highflats SAPS and Pietermaritzburg K9 unit together with a private security companies received information on the whereabouts of the suspects. They proceeded to the Thornville area where they spotted the two vehicles.”

She said police conducted a search and recovered the stolen alcohol. 

“The vehicles that the suspects were driving were seized and sent to the pound for further investigations. Investigations revealed that the arrested suspects are also found to be linked to a business burglary in Nothingham Road where a liquor store was broken into and alcohol and other items were stolen,” she said.

The suspects are expected to appear in the Highflats Magistrate’s Court on 28 October 2021 where they will face two counts of burglary.

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