Fake UN diplomat who received SAPS escort during 2021 elections appears in court

Nhlanhla Sizani (24) made a brief appearance yesterday, 16 January, at the Pretoria Magistrates’ Court, facing charges of fraud, alternative forgery, and uttering after he was issued a summons on 12 December 2023.

The allegations stem from the 2021 Local Government Elections (LGE), where Sizani is accused of submitting a fraudulent letter with the United Nations (UN) insignia requesting South African Police Service (SAPS) escort to polling stations throughout the elections. Sizani is reported to have misrepresented himself as a United Nations (UN) Ambassador/Diplomat, leading to his escort by the SAPS Diplomatic Police Unit to various polling stations under the guise of an observer.

Hawks’ spokesperson Colonel Katlego Mogale shed light on the investigation, revealing that the UN confirmed Sizani was neither an Ambassador nor a Diplomat (observer). The request for escort, therefore, had not been sanctioned by the UN, resulting in actual financial losses suffered by the SAPS due to this misrepresentation.

“The accused’s actions have raised serious concerns about the integrity of the electoral process. We are committed to unraveling the full extent of this fraudulent activity and ensuring justice is served,” commented Colonel Katlego Mogale.

The case has been adjourned to 23 January 2024 to allow Sizani to secure legal representation.

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