Geysers land 3 in hot water

2017-05-31 06:05

The regional court in Williston have found three men guilty on nine charges of fraud, corruption, money laundering and contravention of section 173(1) of the Municipal Finance Management Act no 53 of 2003.

The conviction was handed down on 23 and 24 May.

The former municipal manager of the Karoo Hoogland Municipality, Louis Nothnagel (55), the chief financial officer, Marius Botha (53), as well as Ockert Tobias Cloete (65), each paid R10 000 as an extension for their bail.

The judgement has been welcomed by the acting national head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investi­gation, Lt.Gen. Yoliswa Matakata.

Investigation by the Hawks had revealed the collusion on a bogus company between Botha and his friend Cloete.

According to the Hawks, the bogus companyhad received undue payments for delivery and installation of 600 solar geysers to the community of Williston between July 2011 and April 2012.

These payments, amounting to R217 152,52, are reported to have been carried out to the unregistered company in four separate transactions before the service was rendered.

“Initially, the households were charged in advance for the installation and were later refunded. The free geyser installation programme was later carried out by Sun Power at the cost of about R5,1 million in rebates paid by Eskom,” said Capt. Philani Nkwalase.

He clarified that the role of the Karoo Hoogland Municipality had been only to facilitate the process.

The Hawks’ investigation further revealed that the prescribed procurement processes had not been followed in appointing the service provider.

The former municipal manager was thus charged for failing to prevent unauthorised and wasteful expenditure and failure to take reasonable steps to prevent corruption.

The case has been postponed and is set to continue from 28 to 30 August for sentencing

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