It was an alleged bribe offer that was initially ignored as a joke.
A year later, it has turned into a criminal charge against a Kempton Park businessman.
On Tuesday, Pinnacle Holdings stood by its executive director, Takalani Tshivhase, in a formal notification about the case to its shareholders, while the Hawks police unit provided a few more details of the case against him.
“Mr Tshivhase denies all allegations of attempted bribery and will defend the charges,” said Pinnacle Holdings in the notice to shareholders. “From the evidence thus far available, the company is satisfied there is no reason to doubt the veracity of Mr Tshivhase’s denial of the allegations.
“The company will review the matter as further information becomes available and will inform shareholders accordingly.”
Tshivhase has declined to comment.
The alleged bribe took place in mid-January last year.
Tshivhase allegedly offered Lieutenant-General Bonginkosi Ngubane R5 million to secure an IT contract with the police.
Ngubane is the divisional commissioner of the technology management division of the SAPS.
In November, a complaint was lodged with the police in Sunnyside, Pretoria. Tshivhase was arrested on March 5, appeared in court and was released on bail of R10 000 the same day.
On Monday, Tshivhase appeared again in the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crime Court on the corruption charge, and the case was postponed to April 24.
Hawks spokesman Captain Paul Ramaloko said the November complaint that started the case was made by Ngubane.
He said the incident started in January at a gala dinner.
“The divisional commissioner thought, it’s not serious, maybe it’s a joke,” said Ramaloko.
Then further approaches were allegedly made and the matter was reported.
The case thus reflects the sequence of events from January, he said.
While Ramaloko could not say whether Tshivhase was acting on his own, he said the intention was to secure a contract for Pinnacle.
The contract involved selling mobile connectivity devices (MCDs) or MaxID units to the police. These enable police to get information on wanted people, stolen vehicles and firearms, linking police across the country.