Ghost government employee granted bail for fraud and theft

Paseka Ishmael Choeu was granted bail. Photo: Hawks

Paseka Ishmael Choeu was granted bail. Photo: Hawks

Published Jun 21, 2024


A Free State man has been granted bail in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court after he was charged with fraud and theft.

This comes after Paseka Ishmael Choeue, 46, was arrested by members of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (known as Hawks) attached to the Serious Corruption Investigation team based in Bloemfontein.

The provincial spokesperson for the Hawks, Captain Christopher Singo said the information was received in April 2022.

“Information was received by the Hawks about a man allegedly employed by both provincial and local government departments at the same time. In January 2017, the suspect was employed by the Department of Higher Education and Training as a lecturer at Community Education and Training College in Bloemfontein.

“In 2019, he was also employed at Mangaung Metro Municipality as a financial manager. He was allegedly receiving two salaries from both government departments. It was further reported that the suspect was signing in the on-duty registers at both offices recording the same time,” Singo said.

Choeu handed himself over to the Hawks’ investigating officers to be arrested on Thursday, when he also made his first court appearance.

The court granted Choeu R5,000 bail.

The matter has also been transferred to the Bloemfontein Specialised Commercial Crimes Court.

Choeu is expected back in court on July 29.

Head of the Hawks in the Free State, Major General Mokgadi Bokaba warned anyone contemplating a similar crime that they will be arrested.

“It is theft of public funds and thus a serious crime. Those who commit such crimes by either being ghost employees or facilitating fraudulent employment will face the full might of the law,” Bokaba said.