PRETORIA A 44-year-old senior official attached to the Department of Justice was arrested yesterday following investigations into corruption and fraud at the Mpumalanga Master of the High Court.

The investigation which was launched by the Serious Commercial Investigations has been probing the alleged siphoning of claimants funds from the Masters office for almost two years.

It was established that the senior official allegedly directed claimants to her lawyer boyfriend to process their claims. Some claimants never received their money. Instead it was shared among the two. So far almost R1.7 million has since disappeared affecting eight families.

Enquiries have revealed that the boyfriend is a lawyer and also that she misrepresented the State by claiming to be a South African. The Department of Home Affairs’ Immigration Division has finalised their investigation into her status in the country.

It is suspected that the missing R1.7 million is just a tip of the iceberg and affected members of the Mpumalanga community are urged to contact Captain Mandla Mphephethe on 071 481 3295.

The boyfriend has since handed himself over to the investigators this morning and the two suspects will appear today at Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court on charges of corruption, fraud, money laundering, impersonation and violation of the Immigration Act.

A search and seizure operation will also be conducted today at the boyfriend’s offices in Nelspruit as part of the ongoing investigation.

Source: South African Police Service