Three ATM fraudsters were sentenced by the Evander Regional Court on Thursday, 20 August.

John Mahlangu (43), Banone Aron Mokoena (47), and Phindile Mashazi (59) were found guilty of terrorizing the community within Govan Mbeki Municipality by skimming bank cards from different ATMs.

Mahlangu and Mokoena were sentenced as follows: Count 1-7 respectfully, R15 000 fine or six years imprisonment wholly suspended for 5 years on condition that the accused are not found guilty of theft or attempted theft, contravening an offence referred to in section 2 of the Counterfeit goods Act 37/1997 and contravening section 86 of the Electronic Communications and transactions Act 25/2002 during the period of suspension. The duo was also ordered to pay R10 000 each to  Janelle Home child and youth care centre.

The other suspect Sandile Mashazi is still at large and Warrant of Arrest was issued against him.

In May 2018  the accused conspired to terrorize the community of Leslie and Secunda respectively by skimming the bank cards from different ATMs.

The case was referred to the Hawks` Serious Commercial Crime Investigation Mpumalanga and the team cracked down the case and the accused were arrested and brought to book and during the arrest, several illegal equipments were found in their possession.

During further investigation, while tracing Sandile Mashazi it was discovered that Phindile Mashazi the mother of Sandile fraudulently submitted documents to Police Officers claiming that he has a registered business as a loan shark. During the investigation by the Hawks Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team, it was established that the submitted documents were fraudulent and the suspect was arrested and charged for fraud.

Phindile Mashazi was also found guilty and sentenced to pay R20 000 or 12 Months imprisonment wholly suspended for five years on condition that the accused is not found guilty of Fraud during the period of suspension.