Bogus soldier cons residents E10 000
LUBULINI - Five residents of Lubulini have been allegedly duped into handing over E10 000 by a man who claimed he was a member of the Umbutfo Swaziland Defence Force (USDF), attached to the Royal Protection Unit.
The man, who claimed to be a resident of Dlangeni, is alleged to have manipulated residents by using names of senior army officers.
His identity is being deliberately withheld until he is officially charged.
He started visiting the area in May this year and allegedly went from homestead to homestead claiming that aspirant soldiers had to register with him.
Gogo Siphiwe Mngometulu is one of the residents who was conned by the man.
Mngometulu said she was promised that her son would be hired by the army if she paid E2 000.
"He said he was royal guard adding that he was very close to a senior officer in the army. He further told me that he was ordered by the senior officer to go looking for aspiring soldiers," said Mngometulu.
She added that the man once had an affair with her daughter thus she did not suspect that she was being conned at the time.
"He is so charismatic because when he explained to me how he was going to recruit my son, I did not suspect anything. He said I must just give him E2 000 so he could give it to the officer in the army who would then make sure that my son was recruited," Mngometulu continued.
She said after giving the man the money, she arranged a meeting between the alleged con man and her relative and neighbour Nontobeko Mngometulu.
Nontobeko also fell for the bogus soldier’s line and gave him E2 000.
She said she raised the money by selling a cow.
"He promised to recruit my daughter into the army," she said.
After taking the money he allegedly left and never returned.
When the residents tried to call him on his mobile phone, he did not answer.
Residents interviewed said there were numerous other cases in the area of aspirant soldiers paying the man to help them get jobs in the army. They alleged he got away with more than E10 000.
Police Public Relations Officer (PRO) Superintendent Wendy Hleta confirmed the matter adding that police were still investigating.
She added that only one resident had reported the matter to the police.ã€€
Seemingly something is not going well with recruiting in the forces as far as these emerging recruiting corruption cases are concerned. There is no smoke without fire. If these stories are anything to go by then it means up there in the senior authorities there is corruption. But who will rescue us. I blame the system. This systems is at the forefront in making us forcefully think that political parties are good because we have not tasted it. Deserving people are jobless and non deserving people are at the forces.
December 8, 2011, 1:01 am, DIBO (D@GMAIL.COM)