Independent Communications Authority of SA chairperson Rubben Mohlaloga has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for fraud and money laundering.
Mohlaloga was sentenced – alongside former acting head of the Land Bank Philemon Mohlahlane and attorney Dinga Rammy Nkwashu – on Thurday at the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) confirmed.
Mohlahlane was sentenced to seven years in prison, while attorney Nkwashu was sentenced to 24 years in prison. The three were found guilty in the same court in January 2018.
Mohlaloga, who was appointed chairperson of Icasa in December 2017, was found guilty of fraud and money laundering.
The court found that he and his co-accused defrauded the Land Bank of about R6-million when he was chairperson of Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Agriculture.
He acted with his accomplices to transfer the money from the Land Bank to an attorney’s trust account.
Fin24 previously reported that Mohlaloga was appointed to the previous Icasa board in 2013, despite the fraud allegations.
He has served as acting chairperson of the Icasa board since 2016. He is also a former deputy president of the ANC Youth League and served as an ANC MP.
“An application for leave to appeal against the sentencing was granted for all three,” NPA regional spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said.
The three were released on bail, pending the appeal.
Mohlaloga was granted R70 000 bail, Mohlahlane R30 000 bail, and Nkwashu bail of R100 000.
A Parliamentary process began in early 2018 to look into Mohlaloga’s fitness to hold office, pending his trial.
In May 2018, the portfolio committee recommended that he be suspended, pending the finalisation of his case and his appeal.