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Limpopo businessmen due in dock for trying to bribe SIU investigator

By Xolile Bhengu Time of article published Sep 19, 2021

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DURBAN - THE Special Investigating Unit (SIU) is looking forward to the start of a corruption trial against two Limpopo businessmen for attempting to bribe an SIU investigator with R300 000 to influence the outcome an investigation into a fraudulent borehole tender case.

The two businessmen will appear in the Polokwane Specialised Commercial Crimes Court from today (Monday) until Thursday and again on October 20-22.

Jack Maake (44) and Matome Prince Mathole (34) were arrested in a joint operation with the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation, known as the Hawks, in November 2019 after an attempt to bribe an SIU investigator with R300 000 to influence the outcome of the SIU investigation.

The pair met the SIU investigator in a Polokwane hotel and handed over a R300 000 gratification which led to their immediate arrest.

The matter relates to a R50 million tender awarded by the Mopani District Municipality to Twin Corner Construction and Projects 35 CC for the construction, installation, repair, refurbishment and maintenance of 38 boreholes.

SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said in terms of Proclamation R15 of 2018, the investigative body was directed to investigate allegations of corruption, malpractice, maladministration and financial mismanagement relating to procurement of goods and services in the Mopani Local Municipality – and to recover any financial losses suffered by the state.

Kganyago said the SIU investigation had revealed that the service provider submitted invoices to the Giyani based municipality amounting to R17.9 million for services not rendered as per the terms of the contract. However, the invoices were processed by the municipality.

He said the boreholes were meant to benefit a number of villages under the jurisdiction of the district municipality which has a general water source issue.

“The trial will be on for the whole week. The businessmen submitted inflated claims for 38 boreholes. When they realised they were being investigated they tried to bribe the investigator with the cash amount of R300 000. They were charging over R1 million rand for each borehole that actually costs around R20 000 to make,” said Kganyago.

THE MERCURY

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