An Eastern Cape woman who paid local women to “marry” foreign nationals by issuing fake marriage certificates was convicted of fraud and corruption in the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday.
Nomabandla Manjezi, 47, was found guilty on four counts of corruption and two counts of fraud. The matter was postponed to 18 February for sentencing.
She was arrested along with Abu Bokar, 46, following a tip-off to immigration officers about the fraudulent marriage certificates between South African women and foreign nationals.
They were caught in March 2017, resulting in them being charged for fraud and corruption, said Hawks spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Philani Nkwalase.
During the arrest, their premises – which included a cellphone shop in North End and a house in New Brighton – were searched. Documents linked to their criminal operations were found in a container and seized for further investigation.
The Hawks investigation revealed that they recruited young women from New Brighton, KwaZakhele and Zwide and paid them between R200 and R300 each to marry Bangladeshi nationals. Other local women were unaware that they were married to foreign nationals.
Bokar appeared in the same court on 14 August 2018 and pleaded guilty on two counts of fraud. He was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment, wholly suspended for five years.
The Hawks’ Serious Corruption Investigation team welcomed the conviction.
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