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2023/05/08      |  Written By:  Captain L Sekgotodi   |   Province:  Mpumalanga

MPUMALANGA – Maria Cantelo (53) appeared before the Hendrina Commercial Crime Court on Friday, 5 May 2023 for theft, fraud and money laundering. Cantelo was arrested by the Middelburg based Hawks Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team shortly before her first court appearance for alleged involvement in Eskom fraud and theft worth R14.7 Million.

The Portuguese national was released on  R100 000.00 bail and ordered to hand over her passport and should not leave the jurisdiction of Mpumalanga without informing the investigating officer. She was further warned that she will remain in custody until the bail amount is fully paid.

This brings to a total of five suspects arrested following an intensive investigation conducted by Eskom Forensic Investigators who later reported the matter to the Hawks for further investigation on 22 March 2023. It is alleged that over the period between March to April 2013 the accused acted in concert and facilitated tender processes without following proper procurement processes and benefited from the proceed of crime.

The accused Thandeka Innocentia Nkosi (42), Godfrey Jason Jones (46), Rabela Sarah Jones (71) were arrested and released on  R100 000.00 bail each, excluding Rabela Sarah Jones who was released on R30 000.00 bail due to her health condition.

The case was postponed to 5 June 2023 for further Investigation and tracing of another suspect who is on the run and  a warrant of arrest was issued against him.