City uncovers billing fraud by ex-employee

Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba. Photo: File.

One person has been arrested and two others are on the run after the City of Johannesburg discovered they had allegedly defrauded a resident of close to R20 000 on their municipal bill.

One of the suspects on the run is a former City employee who worked in the revenue department, who is allegedly involved in a number of fraud cases.

Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba said the resident brought the matter to the City’s Forensic and Investigation Service Department.

The resident allegedly paid thousands of rands to the trio for making payment arrangements, a clearance certificate, and a new account.

“The complainant paid the suspect R1 000 for joining the company in 2015. In April 2016 she paid R7 500 for payment arrangements with the City and was not given a receipt. In June last year, the former employee of the City wanted R9 000 for clearance certificate and R2 250 for a new electricity account,” Mashaba alleged.

A tax invoice with the City’s Revenue Department letterhead was issued and when there were no changes in her account, the complainant realised she was being defrauded and reported the matter, Mashaba said.

The suspect will appear in the Hillbrow Magistrates’ Court on 12 October and will be charged with fraud.

Mashaba warned that even if someone resigns or gets dismissed from the City, they are not off the hook. “We will pursue criminal charges and recoup what is due to our residents.”

The mayor appealed to anyone who might have information that will result in the arrest of the two other suspects who are on the run, to come forward.

Report any fraud and corruption activities through the 24-hour tip-off hotline 0800 002 587.

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  AUTHOR
Chantelle Fourie

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