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KZN officials granted bail in R24m catering tender fraud

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala’s office’s office said it had already moved to suspend some of the officials implicated

rape raping

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At least four people in KwaZulu-Natal have been released on bail after being linked to catering tenders worth R24 million.

The suspects, one of whom is a senior official in Premier Sihle Zikalala’s office Nonhlanhla Hlongwane, appeared before the Durban Commercial Crimes Court on Friday, 2 October 2020, together with three service providers – Ashley Rose, Ntobimpela Majozi and Sybil Motaung.

“The supply manager was released on R5 000 bail, while the three service providers were released on R10 000 and R20 000 bail,” said Simphiwe Mhlongo, spokesperson for the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation (DPCI), also known as the Hawks.

In July, five government officials were arrested for fraud and corruption.

Officials accused of accepting bribes

It is alleged that the officials worked with service providers to secure catering tenders disregarding all supply chain procedures. They are also believed to have accepted bribes.

“These allegations were reported to the Durban Serious Corruption Investigation who through a prosecution guided investigation led to the arrest of the four officials and one service provider. The total value of the contracts under investigation is more than R20 million,” Mhlongo further said.

Zikalala’s office has maintained it would allow the law to take its course in the matter.

“We wish to state that the Office of the Premier had already placed some of these officials on precautionary suspension pending the conclusion of the internal disciplinary processes,” spokesperson Lennox Mabaso said in a statement.

“We are duty-bound to allow these processes to unfold. We however wish to reiterate our position that as government, we are committed to good and clean governance. We are fully committed to running a corruption-free government and will therefore deal with all types of fraud and corruption whenever these rear their ugly heads,” he further added.

Former KZN Agriculture official appears in court

At the same time, a former head at KwaZulu-Natal’s Agriculture department appeared in the same court for fraud and corruption charges, together with his co-accused, businessman Billy Mishack Mnisi . This is in relation to a payment of approximately R3.5 million allegedly made by the Department, to Tekisani Pty Ltd, Mnisi’s company.

“It is alleged that Tekisani was supposed to deliver hay as part of drought relief programme to the northern part of KwaZulu-Natal farmers, however, the hay was never delivered,” Mhlongo said.

“Mkhize as the Head of Department allegedly signed a proof of delivery and verified the payment. Mkhize and Mnisi were each granted R5000.00 bail and the case was postponed to 12 November 2020”