SIU and NPA recover R1.9 Million in AgriSeta Fraud Case

1 min read
f r

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) have successfully recovered R1.9 million that was unlawfully claimed from the Agriculture Sector Education and Training Authority (AgriSeta) by Lerato Raphael Mokoteli, a Bloemfontein pastor. The fraudulent funds were obtained between 2016 and 2019. Mokoteli has repaid the full amount to AgriSeta as part of a guilty plea agreement with the State.

The Fraudulent Application

In March 2015, Mokoteli and Anthony Dywili submitted a fraudulent application to AgriSeta for R1.9 million in funding to support training and mentoring in food garden operation in Kimberley. The application claimed to represent a joint venture between Business Against Crime and Dipalemo Training Strategic Services, an accredited AgriSeta service provider. However, no such partnership existed, and Dipalemo was unaware of the application.

The Investigation

The SIU began investigating allegations of corruption and maladministration within AgriSeta in 2018 under Proclamation R 4 of 2018. The purpose was to recover any financial losses incurred by the State. The investigation revealed several instances of fraudulent activity, including false documentation and theft of funds.

Instances of Fraudulent Activity

  • Mokoteli and Dywili created a Memorandum of Understanding between Business Against Crime and the nonexistent Northern Cape Empowerment Academy led by Dipalemo after receiving the R1.9 million in funding.
  • Between June and November 2016, Mokoteli submitted invoices totaling R1.3 million to Business Against Crime on behalf of Dipalemo, despite having no relationship with them.
  • Mokoteli submitted a fraudulent close-up report to AgriSeta on behalf of Dipalemo, knowing that Dipalemo had not provided any training.
  • 50 learners were allegedly trained and received a certificate of competency in food operation, with a total stipend of R219,000.
  • R381,564.86 was claimed for the administration of training.
  • Dywili did not disclose to AgriSeta that R600,000 of the funding remained unspent, violating the terms of the agreement.
  • In July 2016, R317,000 of the funding was paid to a non-profit organization called Christian for Peace in Africa, chaired by Dywili.

Criminal Charges

In 2019, the SIU referred evidence of criminal offenses to the NPA for further action under the Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunals Act 74 of 1996. Mokoteli, Dywili, and Jeremia Sello Madiba, the AgriSeta chief executive officer between 2008 and 2017, were charged with multiple counts of fraud and money laundering. Madiba allegedly awarded the tender without the required decision by the AgriSeta Board of Directors, contravening the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA). He is due to appear in court on a PFMA charge on 28 August 2023.

Guilty Plea Agreement and Sentencing

On 26 May 2023, Mokoteli entered into a guilty plea agreement with the State, admitting to two counts of fraud and two counts of money laundering, and agreeing to repay the R1.9 million to AgriSeta. On 14 June, Mokoteli was sentenced to 10 years for the fraud charges and five years for the money laundering charges. However, these sentences were suspended for five years, provided that he is not convicted of similar offenses during that period.

A Russian-Spanish journalist and Cape Town native, channels his lifelong passion for South Africa into captivating stories for his local blog. With a diverse background and 50 years of rich experiences, Serjio's unique voice resonates with readers seeking to explore Cape Town's vibrant culture. His love for the city shines through in every piece, making Serjio the go-to source for the latest in South African adventures.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Previous Story

IPID Investigates Alleged Assault by SAPS Members on N1

Next Story

The Battle Against Stolen Water Meters in Cape Town

Latest from Blog

Cape Town’s 2024 Cableway Charity Challenge: A Community Initiative

The Cableway Charity Challenge in Cape Town is a massive hiking event that encourages individuals, corporate entities, and school groups to climb Platteklip Gorge and gather funds for various local causes. The challenging yet inclusive event embodies the unifying spirit of adventure and offers stunning views of Cape Town. Participants amass funds through endorsements and the event has raised nearly R15 million for 18 different groups since its inception. Even if the climb appears too overwhelming, there is still an opportunity to contribute by making pledges in favor of the challenge.

Fostering Female Empowerment through Sustainable Practices: The Carbon Smart Skills Development Programme

The Carbon Smart Skills Development Programme is an innovative project in Cape Town that empowers jobless women through ecoconscious skills training. The curriculum includes green building concepts, small to mediumsized enterprise development, and soft skills for the workplace. A unique aspect of the program is the use of alien invasive species for environmentally friendly building materials. The initiative equips women with skills to succeed in the growing green economy, benefiting the community as a whole.

A New Chapter in Cape Town’s Economic Success

The Business Retention and Expansion unit in Cape Town is transforming the city’s industrial landscape by placing businesses at the core of its strategy. Through proactive action teams, the unit leverages the power of multiple city departments to enhance economic resilience, promote energy security, alternative energy solutions, and transport infrastructure. The unit’s initiatives have yielded tangible results, such as prospering businesses, dynamic city districts, and a thriving economy. Through partnerships and proactive initiatives, Cape Town continues to attract investment and job creation, ensuring ongoing economic stability for the entire city.

“Lighting the Path Forward: The EPWP’s Significant Role in Job Creation and Essential Service Provision”

The Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) in South Africa creates shortterm job opportunities and delivers essential services, such as sanitation and infrastructure projects. It has positively impacted the lives of those who were previously jobless and provides a consistent income stream to sustain their families. The program also focuses on skill development and transitioning workers into permanent positions within the program. The EPWP has been instrumental in empowering and transforming individuals, demonstrating the city’s dedication towards creating jobs and preserving livelihoods.

A Glimmering Reputation Tarnished: UCT’s Mounting Controversy

The prestigious reputation of the University of Cape Town (UCT) has been tarnished by a controversy involving an associate professor and an alleged act of arson. While two investigations failed to link the professor to the fire, a former head of UCT’s Social Development Department accused the university of shielding him, leading to calls for a new investigation by the Department of Higher Education and Training. The allegations continue to attract significant public attention, and the final resolution remains uncertain.