Two accused of fraud, illegal land sales granted bail

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Two people have been granted bail after appearing in the Vryheid Magistrate’s Court on charges of fraud and corruption after they were arrested by the Hawks on Tuesday.

Phathakahle Khumalo and Busisiwe Mthethwa are accused of rental fraud amounting to millions of rands.

Khumalo was released on R30 000 bail while Mthethwa was granted R20 000 bail.

Mthethwa, a widow to the late chief Jabulani Mdlalose of the Othaka tribal community and Khumalo allegedly defrauded the Othaka Community Trust of about R4 million.

Hawks spokesperson in KwaZulu-Natal Simphiwe Mhlongo said, in 2007, the Othaka community claimed and won portions of land situated in the Abaqulusi area.

Mhlongo said the Othaka community, represented by Khumalo and the late chief, entered into lease agreements with farmers who previously owned the same land, where the farmers paid money into the community trust fund.

Mhlongo said the community trust fund was formed to oversee their business affairs.

“The two accused allegedly collected rental income from the farmers and used the money for their own benefits. They also sold some portions of land to the public and allegedly pocketed the profits,” Mhlongo said.

The case has been postponed to 2 March.

-TNA Reporter

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