A Mpumalanga government official appeared in the Mhala Magistrate’s Court in Bushbuckridge on Tuesday on charges of theft relating to a life insurance payout.
According to provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi, 46-year-old Dingani Johnson Ngwenyama’s court appearance stems from allegations that he was involved in transferring a lump sum meant for his cousin’s widow, as well as her children, into his personal bank account after his cousin’s death.
“According to the information at police disposal, Ngwenyama’s cousin passed on in 2007 and he [Ngwenyama] volunteered to assist his late cousin’s wife to claim for her husband’s money and invest it in an insurance company to which she agreed.
“The theft was uncovered when the deceased’s wife called the insurance company for the payout and was told that there was no money investment made on her behalf.
She was then advised to check with her bank and they in turn informed her that the money amounting to about R370,000 was allegedly transferred into Ngwenyama’s personal account instead,” Hlathi said.
She immediately reported the matter to the police, who registered a case of theft and Ngwenyama was arrested on Monday.
Ngwenyama was granted bail of R10,000 and his case was postponed to 31 August for further investigation.
Provincial police commissioner Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma said he was shocked about the allegations, stating what had happened to the woman was heartbreaking.
He requested families as well as the community not to take advantage of the vulnerable.