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Former bank employee convicted for client investment fraud

Media Statement
Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation


EASTERN CAPE – The Gqeberha based Specialised Commercial Crimes Court sentenced Mzwakhe Khumalo (33) for charges of fraud, contravention of the Prevention of Organised Crime act (POCA) 121 of 1998 and 2 counts of contravention of the of the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 25 of 2002 on 4 March 2024.

During the period between December 2017 and March 2018, an investment account of a German national was accessed by two bank employees.  The contact information of the account holder was changed, the existing signing authority on the account was cancelled and a new signing authority on the account was granted to another person who was part of the syndicate. This person then transferred funds from the complainant’s investment account to his cheque account and attempted to withdraw money from the cheque account. When this was unsuccessful, a hold was placed on the cheque account.  Another member of the syndicate transferred the balance of the money in the account to another account opened with fraudulent documentation.  An amount of R400 000 was successfully withdrawn before the account was frozen by the bank.

The German national was not in South Africa during the period.  His account was accessed by two bank officials on various occasions without authorisation from the client. The syndicate members could not have been able to obtain the information and access the account without the assistance of the two bank officials who were later arrested following the investigations.

On his return from Germany, the client made a shocking discovery of R400 000 missing from his investment account and immediately lodged a complaint in March 2018. The matter was referred to Gqeberha based Serious Commercial Crime Investigation of the Hawks which confirmed the R400 000 withdrawal amount from the complainant’s account. Investigations also revealed that the complainant suffered a potential loss of more than R4.8 million should further transactions not intercepted.

Khumalo and his co-accused Lwando Dingiswayo (30) were arrested on 29 September 2021 and were released by Gqeberha New Law Regional court 8 on a warning. After a series of court appearances Dingiswayo pleaded guilty and was sentenced on 23 March 2023 while Khumalo decided to choose the long trial route hence his conviction on 4 March 2024.

The matter is remanded to 29 April 2024 for sentencing.


Captain Yolisa Mgolodela
071 481 2429