No chance of successful prosecution in Choppies case

The Choppies case that implicated two Choppies’ employees and a J.B. Marks municipal official has been closed.

According to Col Adéle Myburgh, the NW SAPS spokesperson, the case was investigated and has been closed.

‘The senior state prosecutor has recommended that the case should be closed as there is no chance of a successful prosecution,’ she said.

The case involved the dismissal of the Potchefstroom Choppies’ branch- and administrative managers in connection with allegations of fraud last month. The dismissals relate to the J.B. Marks municipal food parcel account for funeral assistance for indigent families. According to a reliable source, the municipality deposited money into the account every month. The problems arose when a municipal official started collecting the balance in cash payments at month end.

‘This had been happening since June last year and the irregularities were detected in March and reported to head office. The cash collected over the ten-month period allegedly amounted to hundreds of thousands. The two employees were dismissed after due process was followed,’ said the source.

The Herald could not determine where the cash went to after the official had collected it.

Hendrick Sematla, the Choppies’ security manager at head office confirmed the accuracy of the story.

At the time, Sematla says they picked up that the cash was leaving the store after a tip-off. ‘We then started investigating the fraud allegations,’ he said.

We are surprised that the case is closed
Upon hearing that the case had been closed, Sematla, as the complainant in the case, expressed surprise at the development because the investigating officer had not communicated with him or notified him. ‘We have done our part as Choppies and have gone the extra mile by submitting detailed information and all the relevant documents to the police. We left everything in their hands,’ he said.

During an oversight meeting by the North West Legislature Portfolio Committee on Local Government at the Dan Tloome chambers last month, Motlalepula Rosho, the chairperson of the committee added that the Choppies matter is an issue of public interest and needs to be followed up.

The acting municipal manager, Cyril Henry told the committee that, a day or two after the Herald published the article, his office had launched an investigation into what had actually transpired. He was supposed to have received the report early last month.

Three weeks ago, the Herald sent a media enquiry to the municipality regarding the outcome of the investigations. However, to this day, no response has been issued.

*This is a developing story.

Choppies case: No reaction from JB Marks municipality to protect its integrity

Choppies fires two managers over J.B. Marks food parcels account

 

 

  AUTHOR
Selogile Leshage
Journalist

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