Cape Town - The family of convicted businessman Ridwaan Rajah say they plan to appeal his sentence.
The Good Hope Construction director was given suspended sentences on various charges.
Hawks spokesperson Siyabulela Vukubi said the Department of Public Works awarded Rajah a tender to do internal and external renovations to the Parliamentary Precinct in Cape Town in 2010.
“After the work was certified to be finally completed, the Department of Public Works submitted a proposed final account to the accused for the amount of R10.8 million, which was not accepted.
“The accused instituted a notice of motion application in the Western Cape High Court against the Department of Public Works seeking an order to include the amount of over R500 000 in the final account.
“In his founding affidavit in support of the application, the accused misrepresented and stated that the full amount of R500 000 was in respect of an advance payment made to the sub-contractor, namely Winlite Aluminium and Doors (Pty) Ltd. He deliberately put incorrect figures pertaining to the contract value of his sub-contractor in his founding affidavit.
“The order was granted and the Department of Public Works paid the said amount into the account of Good Hope Plasterers cc which belongs to the accused, in order to adhere to the court order.
“It was later discovered that the accused did not pay the full amount over to the sub-contractor, which he never disclosed in the notice of motion proceedings, but withheld an amount of R51 903.”
Vukubi said the case was investigated by the Hawks’ serious commercial crime investigation team from its initial stage in 2019, when it was registered.
“It was subsequently brought before the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Bellville on July 10 for sentencing.
“Rajah was sentenced to six years imprisonment in terms of Section 276(1)(B) wholly suspended for five years in respect of theft and 12 months imprisonment wholly suspended for five years in terms of Section 276(1) (B) in respect of perjury.
“Good Hope Plasterers was fined R200 000 wholly suspended for five years in respect of theft.”
Rajah’s brother Raziek said the case was brought up to attack his family.
“To put a person through all of this for R51 903.79, when they confirm they will put up the full sum apparently owed up in bond with their attorneys for the appeal process that is going to be launched.
“To refuse bail and threaten to jail someone for 15 years, to ultimately conclude on a suspended sentence, proves that denying bail was being intentionally mean and the denial of bail by Magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg in our opinion had no merit from the onset.
“Sufficient facts were placed before the magistrate, who persisted in wanting to continue to incarcerate, in our opinion, an innocent person.
“This case is a targeted attack on the Rajah family as a whole, and this matter will be treated with the contempt it deserves. We will be appealing the sentence and approaching various departments to account for this travesty of justice,” he said.