Travel agency owner convicted after defrauding education department

On 9 May, the East London Regional Court convicted Bathandwa Bazukile Ndyamara (35), owner of a travel agency, of fraud.

After a series of court appearances, he was found guilty of fraud and will be sentenced on June 24, 2022.

Hawks spokeswoman Captain Yolisa Mgolodela said that in July 2019, the plaintiff had a travel company called Siyawela Travelling.

She said the company was registered in the Ministry of Education’s Basic Accounting System (BAS), which is used to pay suppliers.

“The complainant received requests for quotes by e-mail. The quotes requested were believed to have been requested by the Ministry of Education in Zwelitsha,” Mgolodela said.

She added that the complainant had been asked for citations from the Royal Lodge, which is said to be in Komani (Queenstown), Bay Lodge in Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth) and Fairview Lodge in Mthatha.

Mgolodela said the plaintiff requested quotes from the respective lodges and paid over R2 million in a bid to find accommodation for learners and educators who would have attended a workshop.

“The complainant submitted invoices to the Department of Education and they were not paid because the Department detected that the quote request was a scam because the Department had already paid for the same order numbers.”

According to her, the matter was reported to Hawk’s Serious Business Crimes Investigation Team, based in East London, for an investigation which resulted in Ndymara’s arrest on December 21, 2021.

Ndyamara was released on R5,000 bail.

“After a series of court appearances, he was found guilty of fraud and will be sentenced on June 24, 2022.”

– ISSUED BY HAWKS


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