Cover-quoting: Cape man fined R30 000

2012-03-28 22:13

Cape Town - A businessman was fined R30 000 or 12 months in jail for fraud by the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court in Cape Town on Wednesday.

Nigel du Plooy, 46, was also sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment, conditionally suspended for five years.

Magistrate Amrith Chabillal gave him until the end of April to pay the fine.

Du Plooy, who owned four close corporations (CCs), issued three different quotations to install fibre cabling at municipal premises in the Cape Town suburb of Kuils River.

The quotations were in his CCs' names, which ensured that he was awarded the tender no matter which of the three quotations was accepted - a practice known as "cover-quoting".

Du Plooy was found guilty on 27 counts of fraud involving cover-quoting, but he was acquitted on corruption charges.

Prosecutor Derek Vogel had alleged that Du Plooy offered municipal official Cornelius Wiese bribes of R10 000 cash and chrome bull bars for his bakkie.

According to Vogel, Wiese felt uncomfortable about the alleged bribes and reported them. He also deliberately refrained from handing in Du Plooy's quotations.

Chabillal said the fraud was different from cases normally presented to the court.

These cases were more in the nature of "unfair business practices" in which Du Plooy tried to ensure his quotations were accepted to the exclusion of others.

Chabillal said the State had been unable to quantify the potential loss to the City of Cape Town had Wiese submitted Du Plooy's fraudulent quotations.

He said Du Plooy's case could be distinguished from cases where fraudsters submitted quotations purely for payments of huge sums into their bank accounts, either with no intention of carrying out the work or for work of inferior quality.

Chabillal said he wanted to give Du Plooy the opportunity to stay out of prison, as requested by the defence team, but at the same time it was necessary to deter Du Plooy from committing fraud again.

Read more on:    cape town  |  tenders

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