| Former Eastern Cape speaker gets suspended sentence, correctional supervision for 228 fraud charges

A former Maletswai Local Municipality speaker has been sentenced for 228 counts of fraud after lodging false vehicle claims between 2011 and 2016, the Hawks said on Wednesday.

Kholekile Lange, 46, was arrested after the Eastern Cape Hawks conducted an investigation in 2017 and found that his vehicle was never used for official trips or that it had been in for repairs at the time of the apparent trip, said spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi.

Lange pleaded guilty in the Aliwal North Regional Court and received a five-year sentence, suspended for five years, on Tuesday.

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Mulaudzi said he was ordered to undergo 16 hours of correctional supervision per month at Dordrecht Prison for three years.

Lange also has to pay R65 000 back to the municipality (now known as Walter Sisulu Local Municipality) in instalments of R3 000 from January.

“The work by the investigating officer is commendable,” said Hawks head Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya.

“It is unfortunate that municipalities have become soft targets for those who want to steal from the taxpayers. One expects that councillors should protect the taxpayers from fraudsters.”

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