A police officer in Eastern Cape has been convicted on charges of fraud and corruption in the Port St Johns regional court.

Melumzi Mnakaniso, 43, a sergeant stationed at the Qumbu police station in the OR Tambo district municipality, was arrested by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) in June 2018 but released on R1 000 bail.

According to Lwando Zenzile, Hawks spokesperson Mnakaniso committed the fraud and corruption while stationed at the Lusikisiki police station.

Between February 2012 and February 2014, Mnakaniso submitted expenses claims which indicated he had attended court proceedings in Port Elizabeth, where he was previously stationed before being transferred to Lusikisiki.

An investigation by the Hawks’ Serious Corruption Crime Investigation team found that Mnakaniso created false invoices that stipulated he had paid for temporary accommodation. He also approached the Uncedo Taxi Association to provide him with invoices for trips.

Further investigation into the invoices revealed the bed and breakfast guest house Mnakaniso claimed to have stayed while in Port Elizabeth was no longer in operation at the time.

During court proceedings, Mnakaniso pleaded guilty to all charges against him and was subsequently sentenced to five years imprisonment, of which three years were wholly suspended with conditions.

He was also ordered to repay R41 238.40 to the SAPS.