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Former Newcastle Municipal employee sentenced for fraud surpassing R3.1 million

Media Statement
Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation


PRETORIA – Deidre Van Rooyen (52), a former employee of the Newcastle Municipality appeared in the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Durban for sentencing on charges of fraud surpassing R3 1 million. Van Rooyen worked as payroll supervisor overseeing day-to-day running of the salaries office. Her responsibility included the payment of salaries from the Municipality bank account.

She was arrested on 22 October 2020, appeared in court the same day and released on fifty thousand rand (R50 000.00) bail following an in-depth investigation by the National Clean Audit Task Team of the Hawks regarding the manipulation of salary and bank system. Van Rooyen received undue payments in excess of her ordinary salary. Further investigation linked her banking details to additional four (4) salary profiles of previous employees who left the employment.

The exploration by the Hawks unearthed eighty-eight (88) fraudulent salaries that were created over the period of eight years starting from February 2012 to June 2020, totalling an amount of R3 157 198.00.

Van Rooyen pleaded guilty to all eighty-eight (88) counts of fraud on 14 May 2021. She also forfeited her pension to the Newcastle Municipality and repaid the balance of the amount in full by other financial means. The Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Durban sentenced her to ten (10) years imprisonment of which two (2) years were suspended for a period of five (5) years with stringent conditions on 1 June 2023.

The National Head of the Hawks Lieutenant General Lebeya lauded the National Clean Audit Task Team for their meticulous investigation that ensured the recovery of the state funds. He further welcomed the sentence handed down to the accused person.

"This sentence sends a clear message that crime does not pay. The modus operandi used in the commission of this crime is the same as the one used by Beauty Kilelo (42) who was sentenced on 17 February 2023 to 16 years imprisonment that was wholly suspended for creating ghost employees against Sol Plaatjie municipality in Kimberly.  Kilelo was also ordered to pay back the R778 864, 54 that was stolen from the municipality. The municipalities are encouraged to strengthen their supervision over their employees to minimise opportunities to commit crime."


Colonel Philani Nkwalase
071 481 3468