R500 million, meant for repairs of hailstorm damage on Tshwane houses, was looted, three released on R10,000 bail

Bank notes and coins

Three people - former deputy director in the Tshwane department of human settlements, Cecil John, appeared in court alongside co-accused Marumo Rapetswa and Nnyadzeweni Maguga following their arrest by the Hawks. File Picture

Published Dec 13, 2023

Share

Three men appeared in the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crimes Court sitting in Palm Ridge in connection with R500 million released to fix hailstorm damaged houses, however, procurement processes were not followed.

Former deputy director in the Tshwane department of human settlements, Cecil John, 59, appeared alongside co-accused Marumo Rapetswa, 52, and Nnyadzeweni Maguga, 55, following their arrest.

The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, also known as the Hawks, said allegations against the trio emanate from a hailstorm incident which hit several areas in Tshwane, including Mamelodi and Soshanguve.

“It is alleged that during the 2013 hailstorm, many houses were damaged in the Mamelodi, Soshanguve and Tshwane areas which prompted the department of human settlements to appoint service providers to deal with fixing the damages,” spokesperson for the Hawks, Colonel Katlego Mogale said.

“The department spent approximately R500 million in the project. However, the service providers were not contracted following proper procurement processes, and some of the work was not completed.”

A house damaged by hailstorm in Mamelodi. File Picture: Nicolite Ngwenyama

Mogale said investigations by the Hawks’ Johannesburg serious commercial crime investigation unit revealed that the trio received gratification from certain service providers involved in the project.

The department of human settlements suffered an actual loss of R500 million, according to the Hawks.

“The trio briefly appeared in court where they were granted R10,000 bail each, and are to appear again on March 12, on charges of corruption and money laundering,” said Mogale.

Three people - former deputy director in the Tshwane department of human settlements, Cecil John, appeared in court alongside co-accused Marumo Rapetswa and Nnyadzeweni Maguga following their arrest by the Hawks. File Picture

On Wednesday, IOL reported that a 41-year-old former South African State Theatre employee and four accomplices, aged 37, 38, 44 and 59, have been arrested following an investigation by the Hawks.

Allegations in the matter relate to money laundering, fraud and theft that took place at the South African State Theatre, which was reported on November 4, 2018.

“It is alleged that two employees from South African State Theatre siphoned money for their own personal gain as they flouted the supply chain processes,” Mogale said.

“The two employees allegedly utilised letter heads of existing companies to create invoices without the knowledge of the actual companies, but changed the banking details to those belonging to the suspects' relatives, resulting in the total amount stolen of R24 million.”

Mogale said the four arrested suspects will appear before the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Wednesday, facing charges of fraud, theft and money laundering.

IOL