Sunday, May 22, 2022

South Africa: Former Prasa Engineering Services Head Guilty of Fraud

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Former Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) head of engineering services, Daniel Mthimkhulu, has been convicted of fraud in the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crimes Court.

According to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) regional spokesperson, Phindi Mjonondwane, Mthimkulu was convicted of three counts of fraud after he was found guilty of “misrepresenting his qualifications to PRASA”, including claiming to have obtained a Master’s Degree from Wits University and a Doctorate from a German university.

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“As a result of this misrepresentation, the rail agency suffered prejudice in that Mthimkulu’s annual salary was hiked from R1.6 million as executive manager heading engineering services, to R2.8 million per annum,” she said.

Mjonondowane said Mthimkulu also misled the agency about another offer of employment he had allegedly received.

“In June 2010, he lied to PRASA about a job offer received from a German engineering firm, for a position as an engineering services specialist, at a salary of R2.8 million per annum.

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“Consequently, PRASA made Mthimkulu a counter offer in September 2010 at a salary of R2.8 million,” Mjonondwana said.

She said the State had argued in court that the agency had been duped into hiring Mthimkulu.

“State Advocate James Bhengu… argued that PRASA suffered prejudice, as it was induced into employing and keeping Mthimkulu in its employment under a false and fraudulent profile [and that] the court should reject his version that his Curriculum Vitae was manipulated by a third party as farfetched and strange.

“His actions exacerbated the financial situation at [PRASA] that was already suffering from financial constraints,” she said.

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Mthimkulu is expected back in the court on 24 February.

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