The Kimberley Regional Court has sentenced Davida De Wet (62), to 5 years of direct imprisonment in terms of Section 276 (1) (i) of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977, after she was charged with 18 counts of fraud. The accused was also sentenced to 10 years imprisonment on 205 counts of forgery and uttering, which was wholly suspended on condition that the accused is not convicted of the same offences.

The case against the accused emanates from fraudulent invoices that the accused had created on behalf of the Wildlife Trading CC, where she had claimed undue Value Added Tax (VAT) refunds from the South African Revenue Service (SARS). Due to these fraudulent submissions to SARS by the accused during the period of 2013 to 2016, the Revenue Services suffered actual prejudice amounting to R682 932, 76.

During the trial, the prosecution team led by Advocate Tebogo Moheta and Advocate Martin Molokwane, handed in various exhibits including audit reports to bolster the state’s case against the accused. In aggravation of the sentence, the prosecution emphasised the seriousness of the offences and the fact that the accused had stolen from the public purse. By stealing from the fiscus, she had directly stolen from citizens, as that money would have been utilised to better the lives of the citizenry. The prosecution further argued that the court should send the accused to a lengthy sentence, to send a message to other perpetrators of similar offences. In sentencing, the court agreed with the prosecution, and the accused was found guilty and successfully sentenced on all charges.

The National Prosecuting Authority lauds the prosecution team in getting a conviction on this complicated matter. The NPA hopes this sentence will send a clear message to other perpetrators of corruption and fraud that indeed the NPA and law enforcement agencies are serious about fighting crime.

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