- A former bookkeeper has been found guilty of stealing R11 million in Covid-19 relief funds.
- The 39-year-old was found to have claimed TERS funds on behalf of four bakeries.
- The Hawks have confiscated land and a luxury vehicle bought with the funds.
A former Gauteng bookkeeper has been found guilty of defrauding the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) of more than R11 million in Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) funds.
The TERS funding was made available to offer relief to industries most affected at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
On Monday, Lindelani Pert Gumede, 39, was found guilty of fraud in the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crimes Court. Gumede faced 32 counts of fraud.
Hawks spokesperson Captain Ndivhuwo Mulamu said:
“A thorough investigation into the fraud allegations against Gumede by the Hawks’ Serious Corruption Investigation team in Germiston revealed that Gumede was a private bookkeeper consultant for the four bakeries he allegedly defrauded,” added Mulamu.
A warrant of arrest was issued, and Gumede was taken into custody in August 2021 in Durban and charged with fraud and theft, said Mulamu.
The authorities later seized Gumede’s luxury vehicles and land, which had allegedly been bought with the stolen money, Mulamu said.
“The Hawks’ Priority Crime Specialised Investigation unit has secured a preservation order for Gumede’s… assets, for further exploration. The court has postponed Gumede’s matter to Tuesday, 28 June for sentencing,” added Mulamu.