RUSTENBURG, North West – A 25-year-old man accused of impersonating North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo has been sentenced to five years imprisonment wholly suspended for three years on condition that he is not convicted of a similar crime.
Thato Hangari pleaded guilty in the Molopo Regional Court in Mmabatho on Wednesday to a charge of fraud and admitted he had received money he was not entitled to.
He also admitted that he knew he was not acting on the instructions of Mahumapelo and that his actions were unlawful.
Mahumapelo welcomed the sentence: “This must be a lesson to the accused that crime does not pay, I am happy that the law has taken its course.”
Hangari was arrested in Kuruman in the Northern Cape in December 2016 after he allegedly contacted members of the public and government officials pretending to be Mahumapelo and asking for money for poor people.
A member of Parliament in the Western Cape became suspicious of Hangari and contacted the premier’s office.
The ANC in the North West welcomed the sentence.
“We hope that this will deter other people who think it is acceptable to tarnish people’s names, especially leaders of the society such as Comrade Supra,” said deputy provincial leader Sussana Dantjie.