THE Mpumalanga woman who pretended to be Deputy President David Mabuza’s niece has been sentenced seven years’ direct imprisonment for three counts of fraud.

Nomfundo Sambo (33)was sentenced at Nelspruit Magistrates Court today after her arrest early last year.

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Sambo, who identified herself as Thandeka Mabuza, made shocking claims in a written affidavit last March that the deputy president was planning to kill ecotourism businessman Fred Daniels.

She claimed she saw a hitlist of the people Mabuza was plotting to kill while she was visiting him at his home in Gauteng.

She pleaded guilty to all three counts of fraud and chose not to testify during mitigation of sentence.

Magistrate Thembi Nyambi said Sambo committed serious offences, which were pre-planned and needed a lot of groundwork. “It also takes a lot of bravery to execute the kind of fraud you committed. On the first count, you targeted the deputy president of the Republic of South Africa. It goes without saying his own security was compromised, as well as prejudice to his reputation.

“To also on the same count, make an affidavit in support of the High Court application which you knew were false representations shows you have little regard for the institutions of justice.” Msibi said citizens should have confidence in our police service. “I am unable to comprehend how a young woman like yourself would garner the courage to commit a crime where the SAPS is a victim. Clearly, in the commission of all offences, you showed no respect for the law. The court has a duty to maintain law and order and society does expect the courts to dispense justice in a decisive manner so confidence in the justice system must be maintained. The court can only restore and maintain public confidence by imposing sentences defeating of the crimes committed.”

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Msibi said the court believed a suitable sentence was a jail term. With regards to count one, Sambo was sentenced six years imprisonment, for count two five years and for count three, seven years imprisonment. She said count one and two would run concurrently with count three.