Hawks arrest alleged fraudster who was in hiding in Honeydew

Hawks arrest alleged fraudster who was in hiding in Honeydew


Johannesburg – The Hawks in Mpumalanga have re-arrested a 25-year-old woman who was wanted for alleged fraud after she failed to appear in court.

The Hawks said Palesa Maje, 25, along with her boyfriend, Bongani Sibuyi, had started an entrepreneurship program at the Bushbuckridge municipality, wherein they invited unemployed people to be part of the program and charged them R250 each.

More than 350 people were interviewed for the programme, said Hawks Mpumalanga spokesperson Captain Dineo Sekgotodi.

“Palesa Maje, 25, was remanded in custody by the Nelspruit Commercial Crime Court on Monday 03 May 2021.

“This follows her failure to appear before court on several occasions after she was released on bail for fraud on her initial arrest.

“Maje was re-arrested for fraud by members of the Hawks Serious Corruption Investigation in Mpumalanga on Sunday at Honeydew informal settlement in Gauteng,” she said.

Sekgotodi said Maje and Sibuyi ran the entrepreneurship program in 2017.

“It is alleged that around 2017 Maje and her boyfriend Bongani Sibuyi decided to start an entrepreneurship program at Bushbuckridge municipality.

“They invited unemployed youth to be part of the program. The interested youth applied and they were interviewed and more than 350 qualifying learners were told to pay administration fee of R250 each to the bank account of the unregistered company belonging to the two accused. “The learners were promised that they will receive R3000 monthly stipend.

“After payments the program never materialized, the two accused disappeared and left learners stranded,” said Sekgotodi.

The Hawks said the suspects disappeared without a trace and the matter was eventually reported to the Hawks.

“An investigation ensued which led to the arrest of the two accused and were later released on bail.

“Maje absconded from court and a warrant of arrest was issued twice against her until her recent arrest. She will join her co-accused back in Court on the 07 May 2021,” said Sekgotodi.


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