Five govt officials nabbed for fraud

2012-02-27 09:13

Five high-ranking government officials in the Eastern Cape and Johannesburg have been arrested after an investigation into fraud and corruption involving R11 million.

“Their arrest follows an internal investigation which was later handed over to the police, relating to services procured but not rendered and proper processes not being followed,” said department spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo.

A City of Johannesburg manager Lawrence Boya was arrested on Friday and had already appeared in the Specialised Commercial Crime Court, Kupelo said.

He was a former superintendent general in the Eastern Cape health department.

The director and a deputy director of a health department in the impoverished province, plus two businessmen, were arrested in the Eastern Cape yesterday.

They would appear in the East London Magistrates Court roday. The charges against them would be fraud and corruption totalling R11.8 million, Kupelo said.

The arrests were part of a series of investigations into corruption and fraud taking place in the Eastern Cape.

The overall amount involved was R14 million, but the charges against the five related to the R11.8 million.

The procurement was for business plans

In a separate investigation, officials are working on the non-delivery of R11 million worth of hospital equipment that was procured, but not delivered.

“A few other officials are being investigated for that,” said Kupelo.

The department had also given the police information on a probe into a R13 million ambulance contract.

“We welcome the arrests and we want to say to all officials – ex and current – that fraud and corruption will never be tolerated by the department.

“We cannot afford a situation where money supposed to assist out people is lost – we cannot afford to lose one cent.”

In September, 42 staff members in the province’s health department were fired for a range of offences including theft and fraud.

An investigation also showed that over 100 department officials had companies that traded with the department.

A report by the auditing form PricewaterhouseCoopers found at least R45 million had been lost to fraud in the health department over the past years.

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