Hawks investigators in Mpumalanga have confirmed the arrest of Sylvia Nyandeni, a 43-year-old employee of the Steve Tshwete Municipality.
Who is Sylvia Nyandeni?
There is not much information on Sylvia Nyandeni. Aside from a few dormant Facebook accounts, you won’t find a pebble containing useful details about who the rogue municipal employee is.
However, according to Hawks spokesperson Captain Dineo Sekgotodi, the 43-year-old is from Middleburg and in October 2018, she allegedly abused her powers as a representative of the public office to siphon money from desperate complainants.
Why is she facing fraud charges?
An investigation was launched after a number of swindled victims approached authorities, claiming that Nyandeni had ran off with their monies.
In the statement released by Sekgotodi, Nyandeni allegedly made the complainants believe that she was the municipal authority that managed deposit payments for RDP houses.
“The supposed houses were to be built at Rockdale, Middelburg and Nyandeni summoned the complainants to pay deposits before they can obtain their houses,” Captain Sekgotodi noted.
Based on the paper trail discovered by the Hawks, a figure close to R700 000 was deposited into Nyandeni’s personal bank account, as well as that of a male accomplice who — due to their no-show at a recent court hearing — can not be identified.
The monies were tied to the deposits made by the complainants who, at the time, firmly believed they had sealed a placement for the bogus government housing project.
By the time they had caught up to the scam, it was too late. It took investigators a little less than two years to conclude the case and issue an arrest warrant for the 43-year-old which, according to Captain Sekgotodi, was executed on Wednesday 22 July 2020.
The shamed municipal staffer appeared briefly before the Middelburg Magistrate’s Court, where the matter was postponed for Thursday 20 August 2020.
Her unnamed accomplice failed to show up to court, citing ill health as a reason. An arrest warrant has been temporarily withheld, pending his appearance in August.