Executive Mayor John Mpe appeals to business community to be vigilant against people who are impersonating him to extort money from unsuspecting victims.
This comes after an alleged member of the Community Seshego (known to the municipality) was arrested and charged with fraud. The accused pulled a well-orchestrated scheme and extorted thousands of rands on numerous instances by impersonating the Executive Mayor under false pretences of helping destitute, downtrodden sections of society. His modus operandi was impersonating the Executive Mayo’s voice and request money that will purportedly be used to donate to poor households or pay for some supposed logistic such as transport to events. On dictates of greed, the accused would creatively target the same victim for multiple times with a different tactic. This pattern of criminality continued until his conscience failed him and was arrested and released on bail.
During his fourth appearance at Polokwane Regional Court on Friday 26 January, the accused committed to pay back all the money but his plea was rejected. “All we are interested is rooting out fraud, not his money and we want the law to take its course and for justice to be done as this will send a stern message to all fraudsters and remind them that crime does not pay”, said Executive Mayor, adding that he is also opening a case of impersonation and defamation of character.
Executive Mayor appeals to business people who might be targeted to be watchful and either verify such claims or request a meeting with him before parting ways with their money. “Capricorn District Municipality and myself personally, take fraud and related crimes in a very serious light and we should not let anyone abuse my name for criminal, selfish ends”, he concluded.
For all fraud, corruption, bribery and other related crimes, people can call 0800 20 50 53 to report any suspicion of such.