‘Cele impersonator’ appears in court!

Police Minister Bheki Cele
Police Minister Bheki Cele PHOTO: GCIS

A 34-YEAR-OLD man appeared in the White River Magistrates Court in Mpumalanga on Thursday, 4 August, on charges of fraud.

Zakhele Morris Nkosi was served with a summons to appear in court on 8 July, following investigations of impersonating Police Minister Bheki Cele on Facebook.

According to Lieutenant-Colonel Philani Nkwalase, the Hawks’ serious commercial crimes investigation unit followed a fake social media post, stating that Cele would lift the ban on booze during the lockdown in 2020.

“This was regarded as fake news as the minister has no valid social media account, and a contravention of the Regulations of Disaster Management Act as it was during the hard lockdown to prevent the spread of Covid-19,” Nkwalase said in a statement.

News24 reported that the investigation found that the minister was being impersonated on 161 Facebook accounts and two groups.

“Nkosi is expected to be back in Kanyamazane Magistrates Court on 11 August, and more arrests are expected,” Nkwalase added.

Another suspect linked to other accounts was served with papers to appear in court.

Mzomusha Hlongwane (25) appeared in the Bergville Magistrates Court in KZN last September.

Nkwalase said Hlongwane pleaded guilty on all charges and was sentenced on 3 December.

“A fine of R1 000 with an alternative 30 days imprisonment for contravening the Regulations of the Disaster Management Act was handed down. He was additionally fined two R2 000 or two months imprisonment for fraud, suspended for five years on condition that he will not be convicted for fraud over the period of suspension,” Nkwalase added.

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