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Hawks net 9 more suspects in connection with R36 million theft

Media Statement
Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (HAWKS)


LIMPOPO - The Hawks Serious Commercial Crime Investigation members are currently executing a take-down operation dubbed “Tit for Tat” aimed at arresting suspects in connection with theft of over R36 million belonging to the First National Bank deceased client.

The operation started on Monday 29 May 2023 in various Provinces: Gauteng, Kwazulu-Natal and Limpopo. In this operation, 9 more suspects aged between 35 and 48 have been arrested and will be making their first appearances in different courts. Amongst the arrested suspects is a police Sergeant stationed at SAPS-Makhado. 

The first accused person to be arrested in this case was the First National Bank (FNB) employee based in Makhado, Thabiso Matenda (29). It is alleged that Matenda opened a profile of a deceased client on 25 April 2022 without any authorization and stole R36 989 052-67. The deceased, a foreign national businessman who was based in South Africa reportedly died in a fatal vehicle accident on 24 April 2022. The stolen money was transferred into the new different bank accounts that were created and the money was squandered.

Other accused including Moses Banda (48) who is the suspected mastermind and a Johannesburg based couple, Nomaphelo Sethi (28) and Rody Martial Nzeya (43) were previously arrested by the Hawks team. So far, the team has arrested 13 accused and more arrests are imminent as the operation continues.

The Provincial Head of the Hawks in Limpopo, Major General Gopz Govender is content with the progressive investigation and the successes of the ongoing operation. “We are going to arrest all those who are involved in this case. We believe that all the accused will be convicted and given harsher sentences”, said Major General Govender.


Lieutenant Colonel Matimba Maluleke
071 481 3488