Municipal officials caught in R300m tender corruption deal
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Durban - Eight Eastern Cape municipal officials have appeared in court on charges of money laundering, corruption, alleged fraud and contraventions of Municipal Finance Management Act totalling more than R300 million. A local businessman was also nabbed. The group made their first appearance in the Mount Ayliff Magistrate’s Court in the Alfred Nzo District Municipality, this week.
The arrests were made by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks).
Luyolo Fokazi, Zuko Mani, Thembisa Manciya, Mawethu Mtengwana, Sifiso Ntanga, Nkosinathi Gule, Xolani Masiza and Miranda Matutuba were all granted R8 000 bail. They are due back in court in April, pending further investigations. Fokazi was former Chief Financial Officer at the municipality, while Mani was employed as the supply chain manager.
It is alleged that in October 2014, the Bid Evaluation Committee (BEC) and Bid Adjudication Committee (BAC) attached to the Alfred Ndzo Municipality, allegedly flouted the procurement processes by irregularly awarding nine contracts to eight companies to install water pipes and tanks to Matatiele, Mbizana, Umzimvubu and Cabazana.
The suspects allegedly took the tender documents to another province without authority and pretended as if the BEC and the BAC sat to evaluate the tenders.
The Hawks investigations commenced in 2015 which lead to the arrest of the group. More arrests are expected soon.
Lieutenant General Yolisa Matakata, Acting National Head of the Hawks, has hailed the arrests as another indication of the Hawks, Special Investigative Unit (SIU) and Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) continuous collaboration in their aggressive war against corruption in the Eastern Cape as well as in the country.
“Many cases have been gathering dust and we have been inundated with a lot of complaints. We have a responsibility to make sure that we take our obligation serious and I have sent a team to make sure that all the cases receive the necessary attention speedily,” Matakata said.