The Bellville Commercial Crimes Court handed down a five-year sentence to 48-year-old Cynthia Phela following her conviction on three counts of fraud. File picture
The Bellville Commercial Crimes Court handed down a five-year sentence to 48-year-old Cynthia Phela following her conviction on three counts of fraud. File picture

Gugulethu mom gets five years in jail for defrauding the RCS through shopping sprees

By Nomalanga Tshuma Time of article published Dec 3, 2021

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Cape Town - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has welcomed the sentencing of a Gugulethu woman convicted of defrauding the RCS of thousands of rand through a series of illegal shopping sprees.

The Bellville Commercial Crimes Court handed down a five-year sentence to 48-year-old Cynthia Phela following her conviction on three counts of fraud.

Phela was arrested on three different occasions between 2019 and 2020 for using fraudulent RCS credit cards to purchase items at stores at Tygervalley shopping centre, Mitchells Plain and Somerset West.

NPA provincial spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said: “The court heard that on October 5, 2019, Phela using the name Nelisile Fortunate Sikhosana purchased a Playstation 4 Pro worth R7 999 and a Eurolux fan worth R219 at Game in Tygervalley.

“An investigation later revealed that the card belonged to Ruchalle van Schalkwyk, who disputed the purchase.

“She was subsequently arrested by a security guard while in the store. In the second incident in June 2019, Phela attempted to use a Sapphire Reserve Bank card at CNA store in Stellenbosch. The card was linked to a Game store card account registered under the name of AB Hoffman, however, it belonged to Ms N Wilson.

“She used the card to buy groceries at a chain store in Rocklands, Mitchells Plain, worth R6 529. On July 15 2019, the RCS Fraud Prevention Unit received a call from Ms N Wilson, disputing purchases made on her Game store card.”

He said that in the third incident in February 2020, the RCS received an enquiry from Coricraft Somerset Mall after Phela had attempted to collect a new card for a new account under the identity of Gloria Ncane Ndashi who never applied for a Coricraft card account.

“Phela was arrested on February 11, 2020. She resisted arrest and destroyed a SIM card that was on her upon her arrest. Investigations also revealed that the card was manufactured by the same embossing machine that was used by two men who were arrested in Gugulethu in connection with an illegal card cloning laboratory,” Ntabazalila said.

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Cape Argus

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