fraud

Four men are charged with 34 counts of fraud for a tender involving SA Express. PHOTO: Bizcommunity

Four face 34 counts of fraud, corruption for SA Express tender

The four face 34 counts of fraud for allegedly handing a tender to companies which were linked to SA Express staff.

fraud

Four men are charged with 34 counts of fraud for a tender involving SA Express. PHOTO: Bizcommunity

Four men are charged with fraud and corruption for the irregular awarding of a multimillion-rand SA Express tender. The four awarded the R400 million contract to companies to which they are linked. The case is one which is recommended for investigation by the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.

SA EXPRESS PAYS COMPANIES LINKED TO OFFICIALS

Tebogo Van Wyk, 40, and Nothando Dube, 44, face 34 counts of fraud and corruption. Their co-accused include Sipho Levy Phiri, 39, and Thabang Mohlokoleng, 54.

Together with three companies – Batsamai Investment Holdings, Sevilex Investment Holdings and Lavao Estevao (Pty) Ltd – they are further charged with money laundering and contravention of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA).

It is reported that the North West government planned to reintroduce commercial aircraft. This would be at the province’s two airports, Mahikeng and Pilanesberg in 2014.

This would be on a subsidy estimated at R400 million, said National Prosecuting Authority regional spokesperson Henry Mamothame.

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HOW THE ALLEGED FRAUD HAPPENED

“The amount of R183 million was then paid to SA Express between 2015 and 2017 for the services rendered by the ground management companies, which Van Wyk, Dube and Phiri are linked to.”

R51 million of this money was channelled irregularly through the three charged companies.

“The North West government allegedly appointed SA Express as a service provider to render the service but this was done without following the proper supply chain management processes.”

Henry Mamothame
fraud
The men allegedly awarded an irregular tender and charged with fraud. PHOTO: Bizcommunity

The four accused are alleged to have signed the irregularly secured agreement.

“Mohlokoleng signed on behalf of the Department of Transport as the then Accounting Officer in his capacity as the head of the department. The deal was riddled with procurement irregularities and monies were paid for the services not rendered,” Mamothame said.

It turned out that all of the companies which were appointed to do the services were indirectly owned by Dube and Phiri. This prejudiced the North West government millions of rands, he said.

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ALLEGED FRAUDSTERS GRANTED BAIL

The four men appeared before the Molopo Magistrate’s Court on Friday following their arrest by the Hawks.

Van Wyk was released on R500 000 bail. Dube was granted R35 000 bail, Phiri got R150 000 bail and Mohlokoleng was released on bail amounting to R50 000.

The matter has been postponed to 1 December.

“The Hawks will continue the investigations as recommended and this will be conducted in phases, with a possibility of more charges and arrests being affected,” said Mamothame.