Fleet manager gets one-way ticket to jail for fraud

After being found guilty of stealing money totalling R110 000 from the South African Police Service (SAPS), Fumanekile Gaba (43) was given an eight-year prison sentence by the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Mthatha.

According to a report, Gaba worked as a fleet manager for SAPS at the Criminal Record Centre in Mthatha, where he allegedly used a fuel card for non-operational vehicles.

This occurred between 2019 and 2020. In addition to using this card to fill up his own vehicle, he also used it to fill up other people’s vehicles, for which they paid him in cash. This card was only used at a garage in Qunu, close to Mthatha, according to a statement from the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

According to NPA spokesperson Luxolo Tyali, Gaba was apprehended after SAPS internal auditing discovered that the card was still functional despite the fact that the cars had stopped operating.

Gaba entered a not guilty plea during the trial. Yet as the trial went on, he changed his plea to guilty.

Mthuthezeli Rangula, a senior state attorney, led the evidence of a petrol attendant turned state witness. Tyali said the video footage from the garage that showed Gaba engaging in the scam from his car was introduced as evidence in court.

The work that went into convicting the perpetrator was praised by Barry Madolo, the Eastern Cape’s director of public prosecutions.