A 32 year old woman has been sentenced to seven years in prison after the Hawks uncovered several instances of fraud, while she masqueraded as the niece of Deputy President David Mabuza.

Nomfundo Petronella Sambo, was sentenced by the Nelspruit Regional Court on Tuesday to five years imprisonment without an option of a fine for concealing her real identity and using the pseudonym “Thandeka Mabuza” to masquerade as the Deputy President’s niece, the Hawks said. During this time she opened a false kidnapping case and fraudulently purchased furniture among other crimes.

Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said in 2018, she made false allegations in an affidavit that Mabuza was, on 5 November that year, conspiring to murder an ecotourism business person.

Mulaudzi said “The incident is purported to have happened in the police precinct of Sandton, which resulted in opening of a criminal docket at the Sandton police station. The Hawks investigation later found that the Deputy President was not in the country at the time of the offence. It became clear that the statement may not have been truthful but a possible fabrication, including her relationship with the Deputy President”.

She was also found guilty for opening a false kidnapping, theft, and robbery case at Low’s Creek police station in Mpumalanga where she claimed she lost a work laptop and R4 000 in cash. For this false case, she was sentenced to seven years imprisonment.

She was handed a further six years imprisonment for the fraudulent purchase of furniture valued at R28 000 from Russels furniture store in Hazyview.

Sambo had pleaded guilty to all charges brought before her on 5 August this year.

Mulaudzi added that “Sambo was arrested in March 2019 and later released on R3000 bail, however her bail was withdrawn when she did not attend the subsequent court appearances and she remained in police custody until her sentencing”.