A foreign national, Prince Mbaiwa from Zimbabwe, has been sentenced in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court in Gauteng on charges of fraud, identity theft, and contravention of the Immigration Act. The sentencing took place on Thursday, October 19.
The provincial spokesperson for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, Warrant Officer Wendy Nkabi, provided details of the case. According to Nkabi, Mbaiwa applied for the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) as a temporary employee during the National State of Disaster on November 26, 2022.
However, the application was submitted using fraudulent identity documents belonging to Kabole James Puane, an innocent individual.
As a result of the fraudulent application, Mbaiwa received an amount of R7,594.64 from the UIF. The fraudulent activity was discovered during an intense investigation conducted by the Hawks’ Serious Corruption Investigation team based in Johannesburg.
Nkabi revealed that Mbaiwa, who is a foreign national, had secured employment at the Spur restaurant in Rosebank as a manager. This employment was obtained using false identity documents.
Following the investigation, Mbaiwa was convicted on charges of fraud, theft of identity, and contravention of the Immigration Act. The court sentenced him to six years imprisonment for fraud, three months imprisonment for theft of identity, and eight months imprisonment for contravention of the Immigration Act.
These sentences will run concurrently. In addition to the prison terms, Mbaiwa will also be deported to Zimbabwe.
This case serves as a reminder of the importance of thorough background checks and verification processes when hiring employees. Employers must remain vigilant and ensure that all necessary precautions are taken to prevent fraudulent activities.