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Port Elizabeth - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Asset Forfeiture Unit has obtained two preservation orders and a restraint order in the Mnquma Local Municipality fraud and corruption case involving an estimated R3 million.  

The case, which involves Amathole's ANC regional secretary Tembalethu Ntuthu and Mnquma Municipality employee Zanele Mbewu, resumed in the Butterworth Magistrate's Court on Thursday. 

The Grahamstown High Court granted the preservation and restraint order earlier this month. 

Hawks spokesperson, Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said that on Thursday all the affected parties alleged to be party to the gross fraud and corruption were served with notices. 

The Hawks received complaints that from December 2014 to early in 2017 the Mnquma Local Municipality paid Big Event Boy (Pty) Ltd and other service providers for services - refuse bags and cleaning materials - not rendered. 

An auditing firm was engaged to conduct a forensic investigation into the complaint. It is alleged the Municipality awarded Big Event Boy (Pty) Ltd two tenders between 2014 and 2017:  "It was found that both tenders were awarded irregularly. Some municipal employees are alleged to have received kickbacks for state business." 

Mulaudzi said that investigations into the alleged fraud, corruption and money laundering were conducted against the late Sindile Tantsi, the late Sive Nombembe, Big Event Boy (Pty) Ltd, Ntuthu, Igubevu Construction (Pty) Ltd, Mbewu, Primrose Gonya, Mkhululi Tintelo, Bayanda Mbambani, Zibuthe Mngwazi and Zingisa Nduna.  

"The extent of the alleged gross fraud, corruption and money laundering will be revealed in court whilst more restraints are set to ensue in due course." 

The Acting Head of the Hawks, Lieutenant General Yolisa Matakata, welcomed the granting of the orders and warned that anyone who is deemed to be receiving gratifications will be liable to prosecution: “The teams have been working swiftly and based on this investigation we have uncovered serious financial misconduct. The Eastern Cape is not an exception, we have seen picked up in other provinces that there has been looting of state funds and that is unacceptable."