Johannesburg - A former labour official has been found guilty by the Bloemfontein Magistrate's Court on Wednesday for defrauding the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), the department said.
"A former client services officer at the department of labour's UIF was today convicted and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment, suspended for five years, for defrauding the department," the department said in a statement.
"This effectively means that he will serve five years in prison."
Mzwandile Jwaqa was found guilty on eight counts of fraud and theft.
Jwaqa, as part of a syndicate, defrauded the department of thousands of rands.
"The court verdict means that Jwaqa has lost his secure job in which he has served for seven years," said UIF commissioner Boas Seruwe.
"I impress on colleagues not even to contemplate engaging in fraudulent activities, because the next stop for you is a prison cell, as Mr Jwaqa's case indicates."
The UIF provides short-term unemployment insurance to all workers who qualify for unemployment and related benefits.