Burgersfort businessman sentenced for VBS involvement

BURGERSFORT – A local businessman, who previously did business with Fetakgomo Tubatse Local Municipality (FTLM), has been convicted and ordered to repay the money.

Keaobaka Remigious Kgatitsoe (42) was given a five-year prison sentence, suspended for five years, when he appeared at the Pretoria Commercial Crimes Court last Tuesday.

The phrase relates to the investment made by the FTLM in the VBS.

“Kgatitsoe, the owner of Kelotloko Property, assisted the municipality’s finance manager in submitting fictitious invoices to VBS related to investments made by the municipality.
“Kgatitsoe transferred the money received to his accounts and ultimately paid the bulk to the CFO,” said Gauteng Hawks Col Katlego Mogale.

Lumka Mahanjana of the Gauteng National Prosecuting Authority said Kgatitsoe entered into a plea bargain with the state under Section 105A of the Criminal Procedure Act.

“He was found guilty of money laundering and sentenced to five years imprisonment, fully suspended for five years on the condition that he is not found guilty of money laundering during the period. He was also ordered to reimburse the sum of R463,955 to the liquidator of VBS. The amount is to be repaid in four installments,” she added.

Kgatitsoe was arrested by the Hawks on November 16, 2021 in Pretoria and released on R50,000 bail.

He was arrested alongside Nkhono Johannes Mohlala (58), former municipal director (MM) of FTLM and Tumelo Given Ratau (40), former chief financial officer (CFO) of the municipality.

According to the Hawks, Ratau and Mohlala remain on bail as investigations continue.

In 2021, after their arrest, Hawks spokesman Brigadier Nomthandazo Mbambo said: “The allegations in this case have been reported and opened for breach of the Municipal Financial Management Act 2003 (Act No. 56 of 2003) for investing municipal funds. with Banque Mutuelle VBS.

“The trio appeared for breach of Section 173 of the Municipal Financial Management Act 2003 (Act No. 56 of 2003); Corruption; and money laundering.

The FTLM reportedly invested R230m with VBS which was paid in five installments from 15 November 2016 to 19 February 2018.

The entire amount invested was never paid back to the municipality.

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