Eight high-ranking officials, some from Eastern Cape Office of the Premier, arrested over R20 million tender fraud allegations

The R20 million tender was for the building of classrooms. File Picture

The R20 million tender was for the building of classrooms. File Picture

Published Dec 11, 2023


Eight high-ranking officials, some of whom are employed with the Premier’s Office in the Eastern Cape, were arrested on Monday.

According to the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigations (known as the Hawks), the suspects, aged between 43 and 71, were arrested following a joint operation.

“The octet, inclusive of high-ranking officials from the premier’s office and company directors, was arrested for allegations of fraud, forgery, utterance, money laundering, and contravention of Section 86(1) of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA),” said Hawks spokesperson Captain Yolisa Mgolodela.

She said that it is alleged that in January 2016, the Department of Education requested the Eastern Cape Office of the Premier (OTP) to assist in the emergency procurement of 72 temporary classrooms and furniture to be deployed in the Gqeberha and Uitenhage areas.

“A company was appointed for the tender worth more than R20 million.”

Mgolodela said information was received implicating senior officials in following improper procurement processes during the appointment of the company.

“It was alleged that the preferred service provider was closely linked to the senior Office of the Premier officials and that delivery of the said classrooms was not completed within the province, but funds allocated accordingly were exhausted.”

Mgolodela said the suspects were arrested in the early hours of the morning in Gauteng province.

“The eight are in transit to the Eastern Cape, where they will make their first court appearance in the Zwelitsha Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.”

The acting provincial head, Brigadier Selina Motlalepula Maponya, lauded the joint venture of the teams in ensuring that the suspects are brought forward to face justice.

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