‘Sorry, grandma, but you’re not too old to do time for R20m ...

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‘Sorry, grandma, but you’re not too old to do time for R20m crime’

A 62-year-old woman who defrauded the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality has lost her appeal

Journalist

A grandmother who devised an elaborate cyber scheme to defraud Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality of millions of rand will serve a lengthy jail sentence after the high court dashed her hopes of freedom.

The regional court in Port Elizabeth handed Pumla Ntozini, 62, a 15-year sentence last year for pulling off a swindle that cost the metro close to R20m. According to court papers, Ntozini was part of a sophisticated syndicate that installed  software which targeted the municipality’s bank account and stole huge sums. The syndicate then transferred the money to more than 60 accounts.

Handing down sentence, the regional court magistrate considered Ntozini’s age and her personal circumstances, but felt they did not justify a lesser sentence. But Ntozini told the high court in Makhanda that the magistrate over-emphasised the seriousness of the crime and the interests of society, while overlooking her personal circumstances...

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