Four Gauteng officials nabbed for R1 billion tender fraud
THE National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has finally nabbed the former Gauteng Health department HOD Sybil Ngcobo for alleged criminal offences which took place for more than a decade while she was at the helm in the province.
Ngcobo handed herself over to the NPA today where she and three others: Mmakgosi Mosupi, former Health head of IT; Valdis Romaano, former director of supply chain management; and Dr Obakeng Mookeletsi, former deputy director-general, executive support.
The former HOD was charged with contravention of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) while her co-accused were each charged with one count of corruption.
The charges against them related to a tender for a provision of Health Information Systems and e-HR systems for the provincial health department in 2008 subject to confirmation of the funding by the provincial Treasury.
The State alleges that it was subsequently awarded to the Baoki Consortium, which consisted of AME Africa (Pty) Ltd, Health System Technology (Pty) Ltd, AME HST (Pty) Ltd and Equiton Investments (Pty) Ltd.
The estimated cost for the new HIS and e-HR systems was R630m.
However, according to the state, the final total value of the tender awarded to Baoki Consortium was R1 045 174 125.12.
NPA spokesperson Sipho Ngwema said a company called 3P Consulting (Pty) Ltd (3P) was appointed by Gauteng Health to manage various contracts for it.
“A Service Level Agreement (SLA) was signed on 28 March 2008 between the GDoH and the Baoki Consortium. On 23 May 2008, Mosupi and Mr Mookeletsi, together with representatives of the Baoki Consortium (AME HST Technology and Equiton), signed a change order to allow Baoki Consortium, through AME, to procure the services for the provision of power (generators), furniture, network, computer literacy training and catering. The value of the change order was R13 369 693.89,” Ngwema said.
He said the services that were procured by Baoki Consortium as a result of the May 2008 change order were not services related to the original tender listed in the RFP (request for proposal). The change order was supposed to be a separate tender or to be procured internally by the GDoH on a tender basis.
“The supplier for the furniture in the change order was Ukwakha Design (Pty) Ltd (Ukwakha). This company was owned by Richard Payne. This meant that the Baoki Consortium contract was managed by 3P, with Payne as one its directors. In turn, the sub-contracting company which supplied furniture, Ukwakha, was owned by Payne.
“The negotiations for the HIS and e-HR roll-out agreement for the GDoH was handled by 3P on its behalf. The roll-out agreement needed a signature from the Gauteng MEC for Finance to be an effective agreement which can legally bind the Gauteng Provincial Government for future financial commitments,” Ngwema said.
The State alleges that the four failed to consult the Finance MEC at the time.
All four of them vowed to plead not guilty to the charges against them.
Ngcobo was granted bail of R8 000 while her co-accused were released on bail of R25 000.
They are due back in court on December 3.