A 24-year-old man on Tuesday appeared in the Pretoria magistrate’s court after allegedly masquerading as a diplomat to get a police escort.
Nhlanhla Sizani, 24, made a brief appearance on charges of fraud, alternative forgery and uttering, after he was issued with a summons on December 12 2023.
Hawks spokesperson Col Katlego Mogale said: “It is reported that during the 2021 local government elections, Sizani submitted a fraudulent letter with the UN insignia, requesting a police escort to polling stations for the duration of the elections.
“Sizani is said to have misrepresented himself as a UN ambassador/diplomat and thus was escorted by SAPS’ diplomatic police unit to various polling stations as an observer.”
An investigation ensued and the UN denied that Sizani was an ambassador or diplomat and said the request for an escort did not come from the organisation.
Mogale said police suffered “actual financial loss as a result of the misrepresentation”.
“The matter was postponed to January 23 for the accused to obtain legal representation,” she said.
On his social media account on Facebook, Sizani paints a different picture.
In his bio, he describes his occupation as “His Excellency H.E. Ambassador: Policing, Safety & Security at South African Government”.
Here he shares numerous images where he is in the company of SAPS top brass, including one where he is photographed alongside Gauteng police commissioner Lt-Gen Elias Mawela.
The background image featured at the top of his page shows Sizani at a police briefing alongside SAPS senior management.