A former economics professor at the University of South Africa, who was the kingpin in a racketeering enterprise which defrauded the South African Revenue Service (Sars), has been sentenced in the High Court in Pretoria to 15 years in jail.
Judge Sulet Potterill sentenced Professor Ouludele Akinboade, 55, to 15 years’ effective imprisonment on charges of racketeering and fraud, but gave his wife Nancy, 53, who was also convicted of racketeering and fraud, a 10-year suspended sentence to spare their children from becoming destitute.
Businessperson Boitumelo Boshego, 62, was also sentenced to 15 years’ effective imprisonment on charges of racketeering, fraud and money laundering but former Venda University economics professor Agyapong Gyeke, 68, was given a 10-year suspended sentence for his role in the racketeering and fraud.
Former Sars official Leslie Moonsammy, 61, who was convicted on one charge of fraud involving R360 000, was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment, conditionally suspended for three years.
Potterill said there was an outcry by society against corruption and malfunctioning at Sars. She said although the accused’s offences were not by law defined as corruption, it was part and parcel of wrongful, unlawful and criminal activities at the institution.
“I find it astounding there was an anticorruption section within Sars,” she added.
Akinboade, using his wife’s business, created false quotations as counter-quotations to ensure he obtained contracts for training and research at Sars, in the process, using the names of existing entities without the knowledge of the owners.
He was caught out by his bank when, fueled by greed, he spread his wings and established new entities for quoting and counter-quoting.
Potterill said she found the attitude of Akinboade and his wife that they “did Sars and the country a favour” astonishing.
An expert found the research Akinboade did for Sars was “frighteningly substandard”.
She found that Gyeke, who admitted his wrongdoings, had actually provided Sars with value for money. A model he developed to ensure that research into the adherence to the taxation law was carried out scientifically was still in use at Sars.
Boshego not only falsified existing service providers’ quotations, but involved the companies of her daughter, husband and abused the trust of a colleague of 10 years in her criminal enterprise.