Reserve Force soldier arrested for fraud in connection with duty call-ups


A part-time soldier in Nelspruit apparently abused his position as a human resources clerk by unofficially calling up other Reserve Force members for duty and then “benefitted financially from the fraudulent call-ups”.

He has been identified as Private Mthenjwa Petrus Ngoma who allegedly and without orders or instructions issued call-up notices while apparently doing Reserve Force duty at Mpumalanga joint tactical headquarters in Nelspruit over a four year period that started in 2009.

SA National Defence Force (SANDF) spokesman Brigadier General Xolani Mabanga said evidence gathered indicated Ngoma would fraudulently call up Reserve Force members for duty “on the system” without their knowledge. It is alleged he benefited financially from these actions but no information is given about the amount of money he is alleged to have pocketed. The SANDF also doesn’t indicate which Reserve Force unit Ngoma is on the strength of.

Ngoma and his wife, Mavis Sonto, appeared in the Nelspruit Magistrates’ Court this week on charges of fraud. They were granted bail of R20 000 each but could not raise the money and have been remanded in custody until their second court appearance on December 14.

The pair were arrested in the Mpumalanga provincial capital earlier this week by military police following an investigation into the fraudulent transactions committed allegedly using the Reserve Force call-up system.
“The SANDF strongly condemns any form or type of ill-discipline in its ranks,” Mabanga said, adding corrupt and fraudulent activities would not be tolerated in the national defence force.

The SANDF has been rooting out fraud and corruption members in its ranks, and in August announced that 27 members at the SA Army Support Base in Limpopo had been placed on leave while allegations of fraud and corruption were investigated.

Also in August the SANDF said three SANDF members, one of them a senior officer at the SA Army Support Base (ASB) in Potchefstroom, North West, were arrested in connection with charges of corruption and fraud. The arrests came after an investigation into allegations of fraud and corruption committed eight years ago when an unnamed company was awarded a tender for security fencing around the base.

The current round of arrests started with that of a brigadier general in the SA Army Signal Formation, headquartered at Wonderboom, north of Pretoria. He and two senior officers under his command were arrested after a joint Defence Intelligence/Military Police investigation regarding maintenance for computers, cabling and air conditioning.

All told, the information made public by SANDF Corporate Communications indicates 34 arrests of military and civilian members of the SANDF in Gauteng, Limpopo and North West in August.