South Africa

IEC official arrested for allegedly looting R1.2 million from Standard Bank’s education trust

Nomsa Masuku granted bail after embezzling education trust fund 1

Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) Commissioner Dr Nomsa Masuku has been arrested for allegedly embezzling student funds. She is facing fraud charges.

Masuku was taken into custody by the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation Unit.

On Friday morning, the 62-year-old suspect appeared in the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court.

Education trust fund embezzled

The suspect allegedly stole R1.2 million from a trust meant to support underprivileged students.

The former employee who oversaw the Corporate Social Investment (CSI) programme for the “Adopt A School Trust”, was accused of misusing her position.

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The Standard Bank programme aimed to support students with financial assistance and resources.

Additionally, the trust provided scholarships, grants, and awards to deserving learners from partner schools, enabling them to pursue higher education at accredited institutions.

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According to Colonel Katlego Mogale, the programme was designed to help talented individuals from adopted schools who met specific criteria to further their studies and achieve their academic goals.

Instead of helping to realise the students’ potential, Masuku is accused of awarding scholarships to her friends and family members.

She would achieve this “through manipulation of documents and without the approval of the committee with some of the monies deposited directly into her personal bank account,” said Mogale.

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Masuku was reportedly granted bail on Friday morning. The bail amounted to R20 000.

The case was postponed to 4 September 2024.

Traffic cop fraud bust

In a similar event earlier this month, the Hawks nabbed an Alberton Traffic Department employee for fraud and contravention of the National Road Traffic Act, Act 93 of 1996.

Petros Vusumuzi Mahlaba was arrested on 14 June for forgery of essential details.

The 44-year-old was accused of illegally tampering with the registration records of a vehicle linked to a criminal organization that targeted critical infrastructure, allegedly aiding their illicit activities.

He did this by helping men who were caught draining fuel from a Transnet pipeline near Nigel in October 2023.

Upon the men’s arrest, the truck was confiscated. The Hawks revealed that it belonged to an owner in Newcastle KwaZulu-Natal.

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Hawks spokesperson Warrant Officer Thatohatsi Mavimbela said the investigating team “further discovered that the syndicate fraudulently changed the registration number without the knowledge of the owner”.

A further probe into the matter found that the traffic cop had implemented and authorised the transaction by changing the registration number of the truck. He faked “signatures as well as using a copy of the owner’s Identity document,” Mavimbela added.  

Mhlaba appeared at the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court on 18 June and the matter was been postponed to 25 June for his bail application.