Hawks in the Eastern Cape have arrested former Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality manager for awarding a R1.2 million tender without getting approval from the municipality council and contravening the MFMA.
The East London-based Serious Commercial Crime Investigation of the Hawks arrested the former Enoch Mgijima Municipal Manager, Nokuthula Cecilia Zondani, 52, on allegations of contravening the Municipal Financial Management Act (MFMA).
This emanates from allegations of amending the contract between the municipality and the service provider without getting approval from the council as contained in the MFMA.
Including allegations of failing to comply with the MFMA by failing as an accounting officer to prevent the irregular, wasteful, and unauthorised expenditure.
It is alleged that on September 13, 2019, the municipality entered into an agreement with a particular service provider by awarding a tender for Yellow Fleet machinery for 36 months starting in October 2019.
"The service provider was reportedly awarded the contract because it was the cheapest," Hawks spokesperson Captain Yolisa Mgolodela said.
"The service level agreement between the two was for R1.2 million per month for a period of 36 months," Mgolodela said
Mgolodela further alleged that in November 2019, a managerial meeting was called by the municipal manager, which included the infrastructural section’s manager, and at that meeting it was suggested that the work of the above-mentioned service provider be increased.
"The above increase of work or the amendment increase of work was going to have financial implications, and therefore the council was supposed to be consulted for approval, which is reported to have never happened.
"The amount was reportedly doubled immediately after the meeting from the agreed price of R1.2 million to R2.4 million per month, with effect from December 2019 going forward, pending the duration of the contract.
"The matter was reported to the Hawks for a probe, which resulted in the arrest of Zondani on August 23, 2023," Mgolodela said.
Mgolodela further added that Zondani made her short appearance in Queenstown Magistrate’s Court on the same day of her arrest and was released on R5,000 bail.
Mgolodela also confirmed that the matter was remanded to September 11, 2023, for the Regional Court in East London.
The acting provincial head, Brigadier VS Hastings, lauded the team for its success in anticipation of more positive outcomes going forward.