MTN fraud accused denies running syndicate

An MTN accountant accused of defrauding the company of more than R23m on Thursday denied allegations that she was the leader of a syndicate.

Branden Ruth Moshabane, 42, was granted R200,000 bail by the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crime Court on Thursday morning.

In her replying affidavit read out in court, Moshabane said the allegations were “clearly hollow speculations without any basis”. She intended pleading not guilty.

The investigating officer, Captain Anton Grimbeek, had alleged in his affidavit that she conspired with other unidentified suspects to commit the crime and might have been a syndicate leader.

The alleged crimes were picked up by the Financial Intelligence Centre board, which alerted MTN, he said.

Her bail conditions include having to report to the Boksburg police station twice a week and hand over her passport.

She was arrested on April 11 and charged with fraud, theft, and money laundering, allegedly committed between 2011 and the beginning of this year.

“The company entrusted her with the powers and authority within the company’s banking systems. The accused was not authorised to make monetary transfers from the account of the company to her outside bank,” prosecutor Bongani Chauke said at the time.

Chauke said Moshabane made “fictitious requisitions and money was paid because she used the people who were supposed to sign a first signature and second signature to release the funds”.

He said MTN believed the transactions were lawfully authorised because they trusted Moshabane.

Chauke added that it was not easy for MTN to pick up the alleged frauds. He said Moshabane had five properties registered in her name.

She will be back in court on June 20.


Read: MTN sees revenue increase as subscriber numbers drop

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MTN fraud accused denies running syndicate