KZN man not guilty of tender fraud

2013-07-18 00:00

THE KwaZulu-Natal businessman found not guilty of tender irregularities by the Pietermaritzburg high court yesterday has blamed his business competitors for his prosecution.

Indiza Infrastructure Solution owner Jabulani Mabaso had been facing charges relating to alleged irregularities with a stationery tender for the department of education.

He was acquitted by the Pietermaritzburg high court of forgery charges relating to the alleged tender irregularities.

“We were just set up so that we could fight among ourselves,” said Mabaso after his acquittal yesterday.

Mabaso was originally charged with Pamela Bosman-Zulu on 18 counts of fraud, money laundering and forgery totalling R197 466 837, concerning the supply of stationery to the KwaZulu-Natal Education Department’s schools.

In January, charges against Bosman-Zulu, the former Education Department chief financial officer, were withdrawn.

In March, the state conceded that 12 of the counts against Mabaso would not stand.

Mabaso told The Witness that it has been a long seven years for him, his family and employees while the investigation and prosecution continued.

“Three hundred employees lost their jobs as a result of the case,” said Mabaso.

“I lost three members of my family, who were also interested in knowing the truth of this case. I am vindicated today after all these years.”

He said that his parents died without knowing the truth of the case.

Acording to Mabaso, the case had cost him about R9 million.

He said he would apply to the Asset Forfeiture Unit to release R80 million worth of his assets, including a hotel in Umhlanga Rocks, cars and houses, before the end of this week.

Mabaso was initially charged over allegations that the department had been defrauded through the fabrication and inflation of invoices from Palm Stationers at Mabaso’s request.

Acting Judge Kobus Booyens found that there was not enough evidence to prove that his actions, and those of his company, had prejudiced the department.

“The state submitted there was potential prejudice against SARS and Palm Stationers,” he said.

“In my view, the potential prejudice is speculative.

“It is difficult to see how the falsification could have prejudiced Palm [Stationers].

“The state did not succeed in proving that,” said Booyens.

Indiza procured stationery and supplied it to schools.

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