Former Ingwe Mayor Sentenced to 7 Years for Fraud
The former mayor of the now-defunct Ingwe Local Municipality in KwaZulu Natal has been handed a seven-year prison sentence for fraud and violating the Municipal Finance Management Act.
Nomagugu Luzulane, aged 49, faced the music at the Durban Specialised Commercial Crime Court for her role in fraudulent activities that took place at Ingwe Local Municipality, now recognized as Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma Municipality, situated in the far north of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). The verdict was delivered on Thursday.
Former Mayor Sentenced for Fraud and Municipal Violations
According to Lieutenant Colonel Simphiwe Mhlongo, in April 2012, Luzulane, serving as mayor at Ingwe Local Municipality, spearheaded a community project aimed at aiding the impoverished in the area. However, she swindled funds meant for the initiative, ostensibly for community support, and diverted them to cover expenses for the funeral of her purported lover’s relative.
“Luzumane further hired a tent and sound system that was used during the funeral. Furthermore, she hired a catering company and paid R50 000 from the municipality which was allegedly paid back to her in cash. As a result, the municipality suffered a financial loss of R71 500,” Mhlongo said.
A case of fraud and corruption was reported to the Hawks Serious Corruption Investigation unit, triggering a thorough probe. Luzumane was apprehended in 2017 and subsequently released on bail. Her court appearances persisted until her conviction in July 2023.
Sentencing and Terms
Luzumane received a seven-year imprisonment term, with two years suspended for a five-year probationary period, contingent upon her avoidance of further convictions related to fraud or theft during the suspension.
“She was further sentenced to three years imprisonment for three counts of contravening Municipal Finance Management Act. Her sentence will run concurrently,” added Mhlongo.