Weekend Wrap | Eskom employee busted for fraud, Life in prison for raper, Putin counter sanctions working

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An ex-employee of Eskom has been arrested for fraud for non-payment of electricity, up to R11 million.
Liesel Maria Wolmarans, 44, had appeared before the Special Commercial-Criminal Court on Friday in Gqeberha after she was arrested by the HAWKS organization, which investigates commercial cases.
Captain Yolisa Mgolodela, the department’s spokesperson, said that Wolmarans was Chief Debt Secretary at Eskom during March 2011-May 2021. She was responsible for processing the meter readings. The readings were entered into the road contractors at the customer’s premises with a handheld device and sent to Wolmarans electronically.
“Wolmarans was however alleged to have made a misrepresentation to Eskom in that she unlawfully and intentionally processed false reading in the billing system for which the customers were billed for lower electricity usage. The matter was reported to the Hawks for probing hence the arrest on Wolmarans on 29 July 2022. The investigations revealed that Wolmarans prejudiced Eskom cash to the value of more than R11m”.
“The matter was reported to the Hawks for probing hence the arrest of Wolmarans on July 29. The investigations revealed that Wolmarans prejudiced Eskom cash to the value of more than R11m,” said Captain Mgolodela.
“Wolmarans had to pay to use the electricity to customers in detail”.
An investigation revealed that Wolmarans had embezzled R11m from Eskom.
Wolmarans was released on R2000 bail, and due back in court on the 30th of August 2022.


Retief Odendaal, has been voted as the new mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, in Gqeberha, Eastern cape. The DA mayoral candidate was selected from applications and interviews conducted by the party.
On Thursday, 28 July, the Democratic Alliance signed a coalition agreement which aligned it with the Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus), African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), United Democratic Movement (UDM), Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), and Abantu Integrity Movement (AIM).
The DA defined Odendaal as a qualified attorney who was born and bred in Nelson Mandela Bay. Odendaal joined the DA as a student and was appointed Nelson Mandela Bay Councillor at the age of 27 in 2009.
“Under Retief’s steady hand, NMB went from being in the red to having a R2 billion surplus, receiving a AAA credit rating. The City achieved some of the highest grant funding expenditure in the country for two consecutive years. Accordingly, National Treasury awarded the Metro additional amounts of R178,8 MILLION and R200 million,” said the DA.
Odendaal currently serves in the Eastern Cape Legislature as the DA’s Shadow MEC for Finance, Rural Development, and Agrarian Reform.


Melisizwe Mtshatsheni, 29, has been sentenced to life in prison for raping a 14-year-old girl. The regional court in Centane ruled.
Melisizwe pleaded guilty to the crime last year.
The victim’s 12-year-old brother was playing by himself when he became suspicious, and followed the perpetrator to where when he was walking the victim. When they arrived at Mtshasheni’s house, he ordered the victim’s cousin to leave but he refused and that did not stop him from continuing to drag the child to his room where loudly played music and continued to use force on the victim, forcing himself onto her.
The children told their parents when they arrived at their home as they are neighbors with Mtshatsheni.
The perpetrator admitted to the crime, while the magistrate who heard the case said that his confession does not mean that he has a conscience, but that he is regretful of his actions.
He pleaded guilty after his arrest and claimed that the evidence against him is overwhelming.
However, Barry Madolo, the head of the People’s Prosecution Authority (NPA) in the Eastern Cape, hailed the Prosecutor and the detectives for their excellent efforts in bringing justice to the victim’s family.


Ntuthuko Shoba sentenced life imprisonment for conspiring to murder his girlfriend, who was eight months pregnant.
Shoba was convicted of culpable homicide in March 2022. In June 2020, Tshegofatso Pule was shot and hanged from a tree in Durban Deep, Roodepoort.
In a critical response to the sentence of student Tshegofatso Pule’s killer, UCT vice-chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng yesterday threw down the hammer to men.
“Every year, across our country, in all kinds of communities and homes, women and girls face sexual and gender-based violence from the men they look to for love and protection. We should all be making a commitment to the continued fight against SGBV, and to making our contribution in any way we can in our own spaces,” she added.
The sentencing of Pule’s murderer, she said, sent a number of messages. First, she said, the justice system should be seen to be working for victims and survivors in a society where sexual and gender-based violence incidents were on the rise.
President Cyril Ramaphosa expressed his approval of the murderer of Pule’s sentence yesterday, calling it “befitting, appropriate, and justice for the two innocent lives he took so cruelly.”
He claimed that the sentence sent the clearest possible message that those who harm women and children will be held fully accountable by the law and that it should serve as a warning to those who plan to harm women and children in concert with others.
“This was a crime of particular callousness, by a man who had made several attempts on the life of a woman who was carrying his child. The discovery of Tshegofatso’s body hanging from a tree was a horror from which we are still struggling to recover as a nation,” the president said.


Wally Rhoode, the head of Cyril Ramaphosa’s Presidential Protection Service, was called “a shameless liar” by four police generals, including former national police commissioner Khehla Sitole, for attempting to use their deceased colleague to hide his involvement in the Phala Phala scandal.

Rhoode allegedly told the public protector enquiry into the robbery at Ramaphosa’s farm in Bela-Bela, where an undisclosed sum of US dollars was stolen but no case was opened with the police, that the late Sindile Mfazi should bear the brunt of the blame for failing to conduct a “full-scale investigation” into the Phala Phala farm robbery. The generals’ response followed this claim.
“I can tell you without any shadow of doubt that this shameless liar never reported the matter to General Mfazi and he is now trying to use Sindile’s name to cover up for the clandestine operation they conducted to trace and arrest the men responsible for robbing the president’s farm,” said a sourced, who asked not to be named.
Rhoode now claims that he “brought the matter to the attention” of Lieutenant-General Sindile Mfazi, a highly decorated officer in charge of crime detection, who reportedly passed away from Covid-19 complications in July 2021. Five Namibian nationals broke into the farm on February 9, 2020, and stole an undisclosed amount of American dollars discovered hidden in furniture, including in a mattress.
Rhoode has acknowledged that Ramaphosa gave him the job of looking into the robbery.
General Fannie Masemola, the new national police commissioner, stated in his response to the public protector inquiry that “no case was opened/registered following the alleged theft at the president’s property (on) Phala Phala farm.”


Russia has nickel, palladium, gas, oil, and oil. But the ability to suffer is its most valuable resource. Putin invaded Ukraine because he believed the West to be weak. He is making the wager that Russia can withstand more suffering than decrepit democracies can.
Putin might still be right in the economic front of the conflict. Russian imports have decreased and its economy has shrunk as a result of sanctions imposed by the West. Many skilled workers have left the country, and the middle class no longer has access to foreign currency or goods.
Russia is adapting, but it costs money. The new “sanction-proof” Lada model is devoid of airbags, effective brakes, and a contemporary seat-belt system. However, five months after the invasion, Putin’s hold on power still seems unshakeable.

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