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Fraudster Arrested for Fake Entrepreneurship Programme that Conned 350 People

May 05, 2021
Woman arrested

Copyright: andriano

By Naadiya Adams

An alleged con-artist accused of robbing 350 people of R250 for a fake entrepreneurship programme, has been arrested again after she failed to appear in court.

According to News 24, 25-year-old Palesa Maje was released on bail after she was initially arrested but she missed one of her court appearances.

This past weekend, the Hawks’ Serious Corruption Investigation team from Mpumalanga arrested her a second time at an informal settlement near Honeydew in Gauteng according to Hawks spokesperson Captain Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi.

She appeared in the Mbombela Commercial Crimes Court on Monday.

In 2017, Maje and her boyfriend, Bongani Sibuyi, are believed to have started an entrepreneurship programme in Bushbuckridge and preyed on unemployed youth to participate.

“The interested youth applied and they were interviewed and more than 350 qualifying learners were told to pay an administration fee of R250 each to the bank account of the unregistered company belonging to the two accused. The learners were promised that they would receive a R3 000 monthly stipend,” Sekgotodi alleged.

But the payments never made it to the bank accounts of those it was promised to and before long the pair had disappeared.

“The victims tried all means to locate the suspects with no success. The matter was reported to the Hawks and an investigation ensued, which led to the arrest of the two accused and [they] were later released on bail,” Sekgotodi said.

Maje and her co-accused boyfriend are set to appear in court this Friday.

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