In a turn of events at a South African casino, two employees, Margaret Ndlovu, aged 23, and Tadiwa Madzokere, aged 19, have been apprehended for allegedly fabricating a robbery incident. The police in Mpumalanga province refuted their claims of being held at gunpoint and robbed on the job. Instead, the authorities suggest that Ndlovu and Madzokere were the actual perpetrators, attempting to disguise their theft by lodging a counterfeit report.
Brigadier Selvy Mohlala, a spokesperson for the Mpumalanga police, emphasised the seriousness of filing false cases, stating, "Opening a false case can land one behind bars." The police investigation revealed inconsistencies in their story, leading to their arrest.
South Africa boasts over three dozen casinos, primarily situated in urban areas. These establishments offer more than 800 table games and nearly 21,000 slot machines. The gaming industry, generating $236 million in gross revenue in 2022, is predominantly managed by three operators: Sun International, Peermont, and Tsogo Sun.
The police, skilled in interrogation techniques, quickly sensed discrepancies in the statements of Ndlovu and Madzokere. According to Mohlala, the officers' probing questions unveiled the deceit. The investigation concluded that the duo had embezzled funds from the casino, filing a police report as a cover-up.
Mpumalanga Police Commissioner Semakaleng Daphney Manamela sternly warned against such deceptive acts, highlighting the wastage of state resources and the serious legal repercussions.
Currently in custody, Ndlovu and Madzokere face perjury charges and await their court hearing at the Belfast Magistrate Court. In South Africa, perjury convictions can lead to up to ten years in federal prison. The South African Police Service and the US Department of Justice note that South African prisons are notoriously harsh environments, with frequent violence and assaults on inmates.