Five suspects in eThekwini municipality corruption case appear in court in Durban
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eThekwini municipality supply chain management deputy head Sandile Charles Ngcobo, 41, his wife Vuyiswa Venery Ngcobo, 27, and three company directors - Freedom Nkululeko Blose, 39, Hlenga Truly Sibisi, 44, and Mzwandile Fortune Dludla, 24 - appeared briefly at the Durban Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Friday on charges of corruption, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) said.
The five suspects were granted bail of R10,000 each and would appear in court again on February 25, pending further investigations, Hawks spokesman Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said in a statement.
The suspects were ordered to hand in their passports and report to the investigating officer if they intended to travel out of KwaZulu-Natal.
"Their arrest stems from allegations that Ngcobo conspired with the service providers in 2017 and received illicit benefits in the form of a R1 million Jaguar sedan vehicle, which was reportedly bought for his wife," Mulaudzi said.
The Hawks' clean audit task team established that a total of R600,000 was allegedly paid in cash, made up of R400,000 and R200,000 in separate payments from two of the suspects' company accounts to purchase the vehicle. The settlement amount was in the form of another luxury vehicle being traded in to cover the outstanding costs.
It was alleged the purchasing of the car was a payment in exchange for Ngcobo, as chairman of the municipality bid adjudication committee, to award tenders to the other suspects, Mulaudzi said.