File Picture: Timothy Bernard
File Picture: Timothy Bernard

Businessman at centre of Eldos’ incomplete R126m substation in court

By Gift Tlou Time of article published Oct 12, 2020

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Johannesburg - The City of Johannesburg will have to wait another week to in order to hear about the wasted R66 million which was meant to go towards the construction of substation in Eldorado Park

This comes after the matter involving the City and the contractor was on Monday morning postponed for a bail application on October 19.

Brighton Chifamba, 49, is accused of theft, money laundering, corruption and fraud.

This comes after the accused and his company, Setheo Engineering, clinched the contract with the City of Johannesburg in 2015 to build a substation worth R126 million. Setheo Engineering was allegedly wrongfully appointed to build the substation and according to the City, no work has been done to date.

Chifamba, who appeared at Palm Ridge Magistrates Court on Monday, cut a lonely figure in the stand while his lawyer negotiated for the matter to be postponed.

Setheo is said to have secured the multi million rand contract through a fraudulent bank guarantee which led the City to believe they had the balance sheet to handle the project.

The City said an investigation conducted by their Forensic and Investigation Service (GFIS) department uncovered that, in February 2017, almost R66 million was paid the service provider without any physical work done.

“It is alleged that two City Power officials, Maete Thoka and Godfrey Mulaudzi who were both project managers colluded with officials from Setheo Engineering and ensured that invoices that were submitted were paid without any physical work done on the substation.

“The two officials have since been dismissed. The matter was brought to the City’s attention after employees of sub-contractors connected to the construction project protested against City Power’s main contractor and threatened to burn the substation down,” the City stated.

Two directors from the engineering company were arrested in 2017, but the NPA opted to remove the case from the court roll.

NPA spokesperson Phindi Mjondwane said she would be able to provide an update on the two in due course.

The Star

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