NATIONAL NEWS - Three traditional healers were sentenced to an accumulative 13 years in jail by the East London Regional Court for fraud and theft after they scammed a 63-year-old former teacher out of her pension money.
According to police spokesperson Captain Anelisa Ngcakani, the three Ugandan nationals – Jimmy Peter Sellwuju, 27, Mohamed Wamubirigue, 57, and Brian Kibirigue, 32 – executed their scam from January to August 2017, which entailed convincing the teacher from Lusikisiki to resign from her job and hand over her pension to them for a “spiritual cleansing” that would lead to her ancestors multiplying her money.
“With the guidance of Wamubirigue, the 63-year-old then participated in a series of spiritual rituals which resulted in her resigning from work as she believed that her ancestors would multiply her pension to millions of rands. She then handed over R1.6 million of her pension money to the men who then fled with the cash to Port Elizabeth.
“Knowing that the pensioner still had more cash in her account, she was instructed to withdraw the remaining R90,000.
"Members of the Commercial Crime Investigation Unit were alerted by an informer about the crime that was about to take place and they managed to stop the transaction and arrest Sellwuju and Wamubirigue as they were waiting outside the bank.
“The Hawks then notified police in Port Elizabeth about Kibirigue and they arrested him while he was booking accommodation at a guesthouse. Fortunately, the police recovered the R1.6 million from him.”
The East London Magistrate’s Court denied the three bail and they have been in custody since August 2017.
Sellwuju and Wamubirigue were each sentenced to six years’ imprisonment, while Kibirigue was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment for fraud and theft.