Woman arrested in EL mall for for identity theft

A Johannesburg woman was arrested for fraud and identity theft after allegedly using a stranger’s identity document to purchase a cellphone at an East London store.

For now the state has charged her under the name of Lijane Bianka Hartman.

ENIGMA: Lijane Bianka Hartman appeared in the East London Magistrate’s Court for fraud and identity theft Picture: ZWANGA MUKHUTHU

The woman appeared in the East London Magistrate’s Court. She told bail court magistrate Nazeem Joemath that she was 24 years old.

According to the state, the woman was arrested on Wednesday at the Cell C store in Hemingways Mall while trying to get a cellphone contract.

State advocate Wayne Jafta told the court she had inserted her ID photo inside someone else’s ID.

A consultant at the store alerted the police of the suspected fraudulent transaction and stalled the application until detectives from the Cambridge police station arrived and arrested her.

She was also allegedly found in possession of more IDs with different names accompanied by her picture.

She was read her rights in court and asked if she had a lawyer to represent her.

East London attorney Nqaba Nomvete, who happened to be in court for a different matter, got up and approached her.

After a few minutes of talking to her, he told the magistrate he would represent her.

Jafta told the magistrate that he was not ready to proceed with the bail application.

“Your worship we don’t know who she really is. Her fingerprints have been taken and will be sent to Pretoria to establish her true identity,” Jafta said.

Joemath postponed the matter to July 18 for a formal bail application.

The woman was remanded in custody. — zwangam@dispatch.co.za

By Zwanga Mukhuthu

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