Corruption case involving Limpopo businessmen postponed, set to resume on Thursday
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PRETORIA: The trial of two Two Limpopo businessmen, Jack Maake and Matome Prince Mathole, who are charged with corruption, has been postponed in the Polokwane Commercial Crimes Court, the the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said on Monday.
Limpopo NPA spokesperson Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi said the trial was supposed to continue until Thursday, but it did not take off on Monday.
“The accused terminated the mandate of their legal representative,” said Malabi-Dzhangi.
Earlier this year, Malabi-Dzhangi said the two allegedly wanted an investigator of the Special Investigating Unit to exclude a part in a report that recommended their company be charged criminally for corruption, and also asked the investigator to reduce the amount to be paid back.
“The pair were arrested in November 2019, by the Directorate for Priority Crimes (Hawks). This is after they allegedly bribed an SIU investigator to exclude a part in a report that recommended their company be charged criminally for corruption. They further asked the SIU member to reduce the amount to be paid back,” said Malabi-Dzhangi.
“There were findings which had stated that the service provider should pay back R3 million and face criminal charges for a tender that was not serviced, although they submitted documents to the Mopani Municipality for payments.
At the time, Malabi-Dzhangi said Matome and Mathole were out on R50 000 bail each.
On Sunday, SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said the pair met the SIU investigator in a Polokwane hotel, and handed over a R300 000 gratification, which led to their immediate arrest.
“The matter relates to a R50 million tender, awarded by the Mopani District Municipality to Twin Corner Construction and Projects 35 CC, for the construction, installation, repair, refurbishment, and maintenance, of 38 boreholes,” said Malabi-Dzhangi.
He said the SIU was directed to investigate allegations of corruption, malpractice, maladministration, and financial mismanagement, relating to procurement of goods and services in the municipality, and to recover any financial losses suffered by the state.
“SIU investigations had revealed that the service provider submitted invoices to the Giyani-based municipality, amounting to R17.9m, for service not rendered as per the terms of the contract. However, the invoices were processed by the municipality. The boreholes were meant to benefit a number of villages, under the jurisdiction of the district municipality,” said Malabi-Dzhangi.