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Former Ekurhuleni senior officials, businessman get jail time for tender fraud

Businessman Velero David, former Ekurhuleni senior officials Andrew Mphushomadi and Nilesh Singh were sentenced for tender fraud at the Pretoria Commercial Crimes Court. Picture: Supplied

Businessman Velero David, former Ekurhuleni senior officials Andrew Mphushomadi and Nilesh Singh were sentenced for tender fraud at the Pretoria Commercial Crimes Court. Picture: Supplied

Published May 18, 2022

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Johannesburg - Two former Ekurhuleni senior officials and a businessman were on Wednesday handed jail time sentences by the Pretoria Commercial Crimes Court for tender fraud amounting to over R30m.

The Special Investigating Unit has welcomed the fraud, money laundering and corruption sentences handed to the three.

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Businessman Velero David and former Ekurhuleni IT executive Nilesh Singh were found guilty on fraud and corruption charges, while Andrew Mphushomadi, a former IT senior manager at Ekurhuleni, was found guilty on money laundering charges, SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said.

David and Singh were sentenced to 10 years for fraud amounting to over R21m and 15 years for corruption to the sum of R12m.

Mphushomadi was handed a 10-year prison sentence, of which four were suspended, for money laundering.

These crimes were committed using two entities, Meropa Sechabeng Technology CC represented by David, of which he the sole director, and Nanga Transport CC represented by Princess Dlongolo, the wife of Mphushomadi.

The couple were both given a R600 000 fine, which was suspended for five years.

Kganyago said this case was flagged due to the nature of the dealings.

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“An SIU probe in Ekurhuleni revealed that Meropa was fraudulently awarded a tender for the supply and maintenance of computer components. Meropa, together with the bid adjudicators, failed to disclose a conflict of interest contrary to Ekurhuleni’s bid policies, which provided a strict list of measures to combat abuse like fraud, corruption and favouritism,” said Kganyago.

He added: “David, sole director of Meropa, declared during the bidding process that he had no relationship with persons in the service of the state or who may be involved in the evaluation and adjudication of the bid.

“Unbeknown to Ekurhuleni at the time, David was related through marriage to Singh, the executive director of the information technology (IT) department and an influential person in the awarding of the tender.

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“Singh resigned and joined Meropa shortly after the bid was awarded.

“Mphushomadi, a senior manager within the IT department at the time and a member of Nanga, was also involved in the allocation of the tender.

“It emerged during the investigation that, shortly after the tender was awarded, Nanga purchased a number of Mercedes-Benz trucks close to R4m, paid for by Meropa from the money received from the City. Meropa also splashed out around R8m cash from the City tender on 16 luxury vehicles,” Kganyago said.

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The probe into this matter dates back to 2012, when the Commercial Crimes Court ordered in February of the same year that the assets of the accused be seized by the Asset Forfeiture Unit and in April of that year the assets were handed to the state.

“The outcome of the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court is a continuation of implementation of the SIU investigation outcomes and consequence management to recover financial losses suffered by state institutions and to hold those responsible to account for the actions through a justice process in accordance with the SIU Act 74 of 1996,” Kganyago said.

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