Mahikeng – While some people dress up as Santa to cheer up children during the festive season, a man allegedly impersonating the North West premier – for more nefarious purposes – was nabbed on Christmas Eve, the North West government said on Monday.
“The man is reported to have contacted several high profile people in a bid to solicit money from them under false pretexts,” said provincial government spokesperson Brian Setswambung in a statement.
“He is reported to have threatened to bomb the Premier’s house when he realised that his tricks of extorting money were not yielding the desired outcome.”
The Hawks arrested the 25-year-old on December 24, after receiving several complaints from various people involved in government and politics who were contacted by the man, allegedly pretending to be Premier Supra Mahumapelo.
Two cellphones, used to allegedly conduct the crimes, were seized.
Previously, a case was opened against the phony public figure by the Head of Security at the North West Legislature, Roger Ditse. The fraudster had requested R1 500 from him.
According to information on the premier’s website published earlier this month, the man also contacted Deputy Minister of Co-operative Governance Andries Nel and Deputy Minister of Labour Inkosi Patekile Holomisa, as well as others in Gauteng, Bokone Bophirima, Western Cape and Eastern Cape.
Furthermore, the imposter also contacted an MP in the Western Cape asking for money to help a student stranded in Cape Town. At the time, he claimed that President Jacob Zuma had asked him to help the student, whom he alleged was the son of an old acquaintance of the president. The bogus bigwig then asked for R2 000.
The suspect was arrested in Kuruman and will appear at the Mmabatho Magistrate’s Court on December 28. He is facing charges of conspiracy to commit murder, as well as intimidation.