Mpumalanga couple in court for R10.6m payment error

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SIYABUSWA – A man and his wife on Thursday appeared in the Mdutjana Regional Court in Siyabuswa, Mpumalanga, after they were allegedly erroneously paid R10.6-million, instead of the R1.6-million, due to them by the Dr JS Moroka Local Municipality for the construction service they rendered to the council.

George and Maria Mabaso were not asked to plead to the charge and the matter was postponed to 9 November so that their new attorney could familiarise himself with the case.

The couple were released on R10,000 bail each when they made their first appearance in court last month.

On Thursday, Mpumalanga spokesperson for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (the Hawks), Captain Dineo Sekgotodi, said the couple were overpaid for building a water reservoir for the municipality in the area last month.

She said they rendered the service through their unnamed construction company after they won a tender.

“They were mistakenly paid R10.6-million into their business bank account and when the municipality later tried to reverse the payment, there was nothing in the account,” said Sekgotodi.

“Our investigation revealed that they later transferred the money into their personal bank account and used it to buy equipment for their business.

“Both the accused are the directors of their construction company.”

The pair knew they were overpaid and did not deny to the police that they had received the money, added Sekgotodi. She said the Dr JS Moroka Local Municipality did not lay a criminal charge in relation to the overpayment transaction.

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