A mother of two is spending two years in jail for defrauding the cosmetic company which manufactures products like Black Like Me. PHOTO: Amka Products

Mother of two sentenced for defrauding Black Like Me manufacturer

The mother admitted to the court for defrauding the company, stating she spent the money on buying her husband a Ford Ranger.


A mother of two is spending two years in jail for defrauding the cosmetic company which manufactures products like Black Like Me. PHOTO: Amka Products

An employee of Amka Products is facing only two years’ imprisonment for defrauding the popular cosmetic company of R4 million.

Debbie Buitendag, 40, was employed as a creditors clerk at Amka Products, which manufactures popular cosmetic brands such as Black Like Me, Satiskin and Clere products, said National Prosecuting Authority regional spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana.

ALSO READ: Alleged Eskom fraudsters and wives arrested for over R500m irregular tender


Buitendag worked as a creditors clerk for eight years. Her duties included paying utilities, labour brokers and making purchases.

But she changed the banking details to that of Holistics Remedies (Pty) Ltd, a company that used to do business with Amka Products. She instead replaced the former company’s banking details with her own Standard Bank account details.

“From May 2017 to February 2021, Buitendag made payments of over R4 million to the subsidiary company that had her banking details,” said Mahanjana.

Buitenbag got busted when auditors picked up the unlawful transaction during the Amka Products’ audits. The matter was reported to the police and Buitendag was arrested on 10 March last year. She was granted R500 bail.

ALSO READ: NPO “hijacker” sentenced for defrauding National Lotteries Commission


Buitendag pleaded guilty to charges against her. She further told the court that the money was used to buy housing appliances and a Ford Ranger for her husband.

The court handed the defrauding mother a two year sentence as she is the primary care giver of two children. PHOTO:

But the fraudster nearly got away with it, as testified by Amka Products’ accounting officer Mohammed Osman.

Had the company not audited their books, this crime might not have been noticed due to how Buitendag planned to commit the offence, said Mahanjana.

“Through her legal representative, Buitendag asked the court to impose a sentence of correctional supervision and or periodic imprisonment, because of her responsibility of being a primary caregiver for her two children.”


State prosecutor Advocate Leletu Jobela-Ramahlala requested the court to impose eight-year direct imprisonment. This is to send a strong message that fraud of this kind badly affects a business. The prosecutor emphasised that most private companies have negatively been impacted by Covid-19, which resulted in businesses shutting down and employees being retrenched.

“In delivering his sentence, Magistrate du Preez said if Buitendag was not a primary caregiver of her children, she would be sentenced to 15 years imprisonment, because of the seriousness of the offence. However, long-term imprisonment will have an impact on the children.  Therefore, a sentence of 2 years imprisonment in terms of section 276 (1)(i) of the Criminal Procedure Act will have the least impact on the children.”

ALSO READ: Three face court for vehicle testing fraud after being caught three times