R10k bail each for NCape officials charged with diamond fraud
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Rustenburg– Four senior officials from the Northern Cape department of economic development and tourism were released on a R10 000 bail each at the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) said on Thursday.
Spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Philani Nkwalase, said Patrick Seboko, 66, a former head of department, Kuberin Packirisamy, 60, chief financial officer, Tebogo Basil Gaborone, 46, senior manager project team and Lizette Wyngaard, 56, chief director, trade and sector development, were granted bail on Thursday, following their appearance in court on Wednesday and Thursday consecutively.
They were arrested on Wednesday morning.
They are facing charges of fraud, contravening the Diamonds Act as well as contravening the Public Finance Management Act.
“These charges stem from the donor funding surpassing R6.7 million received from the European Union during the 2010/2011 financial year. The funds were intended for training students in cutting and polishing uncut (unpolished) diamonds,” he said.
A total of 40 students were enrolled in the same year, to undergo a mining qualification course in cutting and polishing of diamonds facilitated by Kimberley Diamonds International Jewellery Academy.
The diamonds were bought in March 2011 from a private entity without the necessary licences to buy rough diamonds, consequently these diamonds were stored at the premises of the same private entity.
“It was established that the diamonds were missing and unaccounted for in July 2012. This was uncovered during the random inspection by the Auditor General,” he said.
The case against the four was postponed to October 22 for investigation.