Top IEC official arrested for ‘stealing’ Standard Bank’s R1.2m

An Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) commissioner appeared at the Palm Ridge magistrate’s court on Friday morning for allegedly stealing R1.2-million from a student fund.

The Hawks confirmed in a statement that Dr Nomsa Praisy Masuku, a former Standard Bank employee and current IEC official, appeared at the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crime Court sitting in Palm Ridge following her arrest earlier on Friday.

The Hawks’ serious commercial crime investigation unit was involved in the arrest.

Masuku was in charge of managing Standard Bank’s corporate social investment programme (CSI).

Funds given to friends and family members

According to a media statement, Masuku was the head of the CSI programme for the “Adopt a School Trust”, which was designed to grant scholarships, bursaries, and rewards for study, research, or teaching to students from schools adopted by the banking group.

The programme was designed for individuals who qualify and meet the selection criteria for further studies at any recognised institution of higher learning.

Hawks spokesperson Colonel Katlego Mogale said that through an investigation, the crime busters discovered that Masuku was giving the funds to his friends and family members.

“Through an intensive probe, the Hawks investigators established that the incumbent flouted the processes of the trust by awarding scholarships to friends and family members through manipulation of documents and without the approval of the committee, with some of the monies deposited directly into her personal bank account to the tune of R1.2-million,” said Mogale.

Attempt to break into IEC’s warehouse

Masuku’s arrest comes after police launched an investigation into an attempted unauthorised entry incident at the IEC Gauteng provincial warehouse on Tuesday night.

IEC national spokesperson Kate Bapela said the alleged perpetrators are unknown.

Nothing was taken from the warehouse, she said.

Two months ago, the police reported that they had opened a case and were investigating following a burglary. The incident occurred on April 27.

According to a police report, the suspects gained entry through the front door. At the time, police said they did not know what was taken as the computers were still in the office.

Masuku has, however, not been linked to the attempted break-in and burglary. 

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