A Johannesburg woman has been sentenced to an effective six years behind bars for peddling counterfeit money in Mpumalanga and Gauteng.
The Evander Regional Court sentenced Temwa Masoka, 28, on Monday and handed her accomplice, Andrew Mzaliwa, 56, a suspended sentence.
Masoka was sentenced to 10 years, wholly suspended for five years on condition that she is not found guilty of committing the same offence during the period of suspension.
She was also sentenced to four years for peddling fake banknotes.
Masoka was further sentenced to five years in jail for illegally dealing in foreign currency, six years for theft and 12 months for incitement to commit an offence, which was also wholly suspended for three years on condition she is not found guilty of committing the same offence.
The court ordered that the sentenced imposed run concurrently with the six-year term she received for theft.
Hawks spokesperson Captain Dineo Sekgotodi said: “Meanwhile, Mzaliwa was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment for fraud which was suspended for five years on condition that he is not found guilty of committing the same offence. In addition, he was sentenced to 12 months for conspiracy which was also suspended for three years on condition that he is not found guilty of committing the same offence.”
Masoka and Mzaliwa were convicted of fraud, theft and other statutory laws related to the sale of the fake banknotes.
Sekgotodi said the serious commercial crime investigation unit received information about the crimes in Secunda in July last year.
“They were allegedly selling and distributing fake South African and foreign currencies to a prospective buyer. The currencies, which were good enough to beat the counterfeit pen, were meant to scam tourists.
“The whole scam was stopped after the Hawks in collaboration with the [police], caught Masoka and Mzaliwa in the act [in] Secunda. The two were found with counterfeit euros and US dollars,” Sekgotodi added.
Further investigations revealed that Mzaliwa and Masoka committed similar offences in March 2017 in Muldersdrift, in June 2014 and in Roodepoort in April 2013. The combined value of the theft in the three areas at the time was about R300,000.