Judgment on the bail application of Ruth Moshabane, MTN’s financial accountant, charged with fraud will be heard next week.
Moshabane was arrested by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) Serious Commercial Crimes Unit in Johannesburg on April 11 at MTN headquarters in Fairlands for defrauding the mega communication firm a whopping R52 million by creating fake vendors.
The First National Bank (FNB) was the first to pick up her shady transactions, valued at R23 million and then alerted MTN management and the police on March 29.
The 42-year-old, of Boksburg on the East Rand, was said to have transferred money from MTN bank account into her personal bank account between 16 July 2015 and 4 April 2017.
The Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crimes Court heard that she used the money to build an empire and buy a fleet of cars and properties in Gauteng province. She also bought two houses in Pretoria and North Riding worth R2-million and has shares in various companies.
Also, Ruth Moshabane allegedly paid a huge sum of money into her bank account at First National Bank between 2011 and 2017 under the impression that she was paying vendors and also made 16 online transactions into her account without the two mandatory signatures of her seniors.
The fraudulent accountant was in charge of MTN’s 76 bank accounts and was responsible for making payments to the company’s creditors and vendors.
An affidavit read by State prosecutor Bongani Chauke confirmed that the accountant’s dubious transaction cost the communication firm about R52-million.
“The MTN deals with substantial amounts of money and it was not easy for them to pick up these transactions. On further consultation with MTN, we have learned that the total loss is about R52-million,” Chauke said.
Following her court appearance, the accountant who has been working for MTN for more than 13 years was remanded in custody till when the judgment on her bail application will be heard.
Meanwhile, the investigating officer asked the court to deny Moshabane bail as she been unclear and economical with truth and information.
The officer alleged that while in custody, a total of R90000 has been withdrawn from her account by an accomplice, who also removed an important document from her car.
But the Defence counsel Piet du Plessis insisted that his client’s bank account with Standard Bank with a balance of R1.6-million had been frozen since she was arrested.
Ruth Moshabane faces 16 counts of fraud which is a schedule five offense. She promised through her attorney that she would not interfere with witnesses should the court grant her bail.