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Suspect in court for impersonating the Minister of Police

Media Statement
Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation


PRETORIA – Zakhele Morris Nkosi (34) appeared in the White River Magistrate's court in Mpumalanga on Thursday 04 August 2022 on charges of fraud. He was served with the summons (J175) on 8 July 2022 to appear in court following in-depth investigation that linked him to the impersonation of the Minister of Police, General Bheki Cele, MP.

The Hawks Serious Commercial Crime investigation (SCCI) team together with Cyber Crime Investigation team attached to the Hawks Priority Crime Specialised Investigation (PCSI) acted on information that was circulating on social media purporting that the Police Minister will on the 13 April 2020 announce that liquor shops will open. This was unbecoming and regarded as fake news as the Minister of Police has no valid social media account, and a contravention of the Regulations of Disaster Management Act as it was during the hard lockdown levels to prevent the rapid spread of the covid-19 pandemic.

Preliminary investigation revealed that there were approximately one hundred and sixty-one (161) Facebook accounts and two (2) Facebook groups purporting to be that of the Minister, carrying a combination of both his name and pictures. Similarly, Mzomusha Hlongwane (25) also linked to other Facebook accounts was served with court summons to appear in the Bergville Magistrate's in Kwa-Zulu Natal on 30 September 2021.

Hlongwane pleaded guilty on all charges and was subsequently sentenced by the same court on 03 December 2021. A fine of one thousand rand (R1000-00) with an alternative thirty (30) days imprisonment for contravening the Regulations of the Disaster Management Act was handed down to him. Furthermore, He was additionally fined two thousand rand (R2000-00) or two (2) months imprisonment for fraud, suspended for five (5) years on condition that he will not be convicted for fraud over the period of suspension.

Meanwhile Nkosi is expected to be back in Kanyamazane Magistrate's court on 11 August 2022 and more arrests are expected as investigation continues into other implicated suspects.


Lieutenant Colonel Philani Nkwalase
071 481 3468