An official at the Department of Transport is refusing to receive a subpoena to testify in a fraud matter which implicates her employer.
The official is to appear in court on Monday for contempt of court, said the Hawks.
TRANSPORT OFFICIAL A KEY WITNESS TO A FRAUD CASE
The official has been subpoenaed to testify in a fraud case which involves the Department of Transport.
This is because in June 2016, the main accused person fraudulently used the Department’s letter heard to source and ‘procure’ from suppliers, said Hawks spokesperson Captain Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi.
The supplier then bought the required asset and delivered the goods, but the accused vanished without paying her.
“The victim waited for payment but nothing was received. She then went to the Department of Transport to enquire about the payment for the assets she procured.”
Captain Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi
But the department informed her that they never ordered anything from her.
FRAUD REPORTED TO THE HAWKS FOR INVESTIGATION
The matter was reported to the Middelburg-based Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation to dig into these allegations.
“During the investigation, the accused was arrested and later released on bail and she is still attending court,” Sekgotodi said.
Witnesses were summoned and testified in court. But only one potential witness from the Department of Transport was subpoenaed to come and testify.
A fake letter head by the Department of Transport was used to commit fraud but an employee at the department is refusing to testify. PHOTO: Department of Transport
WITNESS BLATANTLY REFUSES TO COMPLY WITH SUBPOENA TO TESTIFY
On 30 June 2022, the investigating officer went to the department to serve the J32 form, which is a subpoena in criminal proceedings to be summoned to give evidence in court.
Upon arriving, the investigating officer explained to the witness the reasons for his arrival. He told her that she had to receive and sign for the subpoena.
Instead, she blatantly refused to receive the subpoena to testify before the Middelburg Commercial Crime Court, Sekgotodi said.
“She then refused and told the investigating officer to take the subpoena back to court and throw it at the prosecutor as she is not coming.”
Captain Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi
The woman then told the investigating officer that she is no longer interested in the case. She told him to tell the prosecutor to stop calling or emailing her anything regarding the matter.
COURT POSTPONES THE CASE DUE TO HER FAILURE TO ATTEND AND TESTIFY
On 25 July, when she was expected to testify, the woman failed to attend the court case.
“The Magistrate issued a warrant for her arrest on that day. On 12 August 2022, she was arrested pending her first court appearance.”
The woman has remained in custody since Friday and will appear at the Middelburg Commercial Crime Court.
Her appearance however will not be to testify, but for being charged with contempt of court.
Mpumalanga Hawks head Major General Zodwa Mokoena says that no one is above the law and this arrest should set an example.
“The arrest should serve as a reminder to others that witnesses have an obligation to appear before court to testify and not at their discretion. Any witness who undermines the court will become an accused,” Mokoena said.
She further encouraged the investigators on this case to continue with their good work without fear, favour or prejudice.