South Africa: Cyber crime hits Government


Three IT specialists appeared in the Pretoria Commercial Crimes Court yesterday for siphoning R950 000 from the Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation.

They were not asked to plead and the case was postponed. The trio will appear again in the Pretoria Commercial Crimes Court on 16 January. This comes after a fraud spree by a 12-member cyber crime syndicate, who were arrested during the December period.

Senior superintendent Tummi Golding, from the Crime Intelligence Unit, says: “In 2006, R5 million was stolen from the presidency by two IT experts. And, last year, R950,000 was stolen from the Department of Sports and Recreation by six people.

“From 2006 to date, the Crime Intelligence Unit arrested 78 people. The unit has deployed projects specifically to investigate and arrest syndicates involved in this type of crime.”

Thabo Mosebe, head of communications and spokesman for the president, says: “There has been a case where a group of people were arrested on suspicion of fraud, and it was suspected that the presidency was one of the targets of the fraud.”