South Africa: SIU welcomes arrest of lawyer who defrauded the Office of the State Attorney

South Africa: SIU welcomes arrest of lawyer who defrauded the Office of the State Attorney

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has welcomed the arrest of Advocate Hassan Ebrahim Kajee, a lawyer for the Office of the State Attorney in South Africa, who was allegedly involved in defrauding the office. According to the SIU, Advocate Kajee was arrested by the Hawks following an investigation and was released on bail of R20,000. The investigation revealed that he inflated invoices, invoiced for services not actually rendered, overcharged for alleged services rendered, billed for more hours than were worked, and invoiced for work on different matters simultaneously. The SIU referred the evidence pointing to criminal conduct to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), which led to the arrest of Advocate Kajee. The case is expected to be back in court next month.

In addition to the criminal case, the SIU is pursuing a civil case against Advocate Kajee to recover approximately R27 million for damages the State suffered because of the alleged corrupt and collusive relationship between him and the former head of the Office of the State Attorney in Johannesburg, Gustav Lekabe. Lekabe is alleged to have briefed Advocate Kajee as counsel for the State in a plethora of matters in which he charged for legal fees not actually rendered, double-charged for similar work done in a specific matter, and double-invoiced the Office of the State Attorney.

The SIU is empowered to institute civil action in the High Court or a Special Tribunal in its name to correct any wrongdoing uncovered during both investigations caused by acts of corruption, fraud, or maladministration. The unit’s efforts to root out corruption in South Africa are commendable, and this case serves as a reminder to public officials and private citizens alike that corrupt and fraudulent activities will not be tolerated. The SIU’s pursuit of both criminal and civil cases against Advocate Kajee highlights its commitment to recovering the State’s losses and holding those who engage in corrupt activities accountable for their actions.

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