The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) said its serious commercial crime investigation team has served a municipal worker with a summons on charges relating to fraud and money laundering.

The 32-year-old suspect worked as an accountant at the Bergrivier Municipality, Western Cape, which governs towns such as Piketberg, Velddrif and Porterville as well as villages and rural areas.

Hawks spokesperson Zinzi Hani, in a statement said the summons was for the suspect to appear in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on December 9.

She said that between May 2019 and August 2019 the suspect allegedly embezzled money from the municipality at least 10 times.

The suspect is alleged to have transferred money to his personal bank account and to that of an acquaintance.

Hani said the suspect was the only one with access to the municipality’s accounts.

“The suspect had access to the municipality online banking profile and he was the only person who knew the access code and passwords. During the said period the suspect swindled the municipality of an amount of over R4 million (US$256,000)”.

In a separate case, the Hawks have secured the conviction of a suspect for the murder of a man in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape.

Wayne Albert Rossouw, 33, pleaded guilty to all charges in the Port Elizabeth High Court and was sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment for murder and 15 years’ imprisonment for theft. His sentences are to run concurrently. His accomplice, Ronald Swarts, 24, was sentenced in the same court in October.

The case against Rossouw’s mother, Christine Rossouw, 57, and his sister, Chantell Rossouw, 37, will be heard in the same court on March 15, 2021.

The group was arrested in August 2018 on charges of murder and theft; however, the women were granted bail of R1,000 (US$64) while the men were remanded in custody.

They are alleged to have murdered Petrus Scholtz, an electrician, whose body was found in a bushy area in Fairview on July 20, 2018.

According to the investigation, Scholtz had repaired the geyser at the Rossouw home in Kabega Park at night and the following day the family called him back to collect his money for the service rendered.

However, his return to the family home resulted in his death.