A 50-year-old Ugandan foreign national was remanded in custody for scamming a 46-year-old former teacher out of her pension money. Christopher Masereka, also known as Moses Mawaza, was arrested in Mbombela on October 8.
A provincial police spokesperson, Brigadier Selvy Mohlala, said the suspect and victim had allegedly committed into a mutual relationship in March. Two months down the line, the suspect allegedly told her he was in the logistics business.
“He advised her to resign from her work so that after cashing out her pension money, she could pump it into a business they would run as partners. From that time onwards, the alleged swindler played hard-to-get. The Ugandan national allegedly ignored the victim’s calls, relocated to another accommodation and finally changed his contact numbers,” he said.
Mohlala said it became clear to the former teacher that she had been scammed. She opened a case of theft under false pretences with the Nelspruit SAPS.
“An investigation was conducted, which led to him being charged with theft under false pretences and contravention of the Immigration Act.
“The Department of Home Affairs will be roped into the investigation to ascertain the legality of the alleged swindler in South Africa. The police cannot rule out possibilities of adding other charges as similar incidents have been reported in the past in the province,” said Mohlala.
Masereka-Mawaza made his first appearance in the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court today, Tuesday October 10. He was remanded in custody for a formal bail application scheduled for October 20.
The police urge other community members who might have been victimised in a similar way to come forward.