Official fined R60 000 for corruption
Cape Town - A former Hessequa senior municipal official who accepted tender-related kickbacks of R350 000 was on Monday fined R60 000 or two years' imprisonment.
Denvor Fielies, 37, pleaded guilty in the Bellville Commercial Crimes Court to 39 counts of corruption relating to tenders he awarded to a civil engineering subcontractor.
In addition to the fine, Magistrate Amrith Chabillal handed Fielies another 12-month prison sentence, suspended for five years.
At the request of defence attorney Kevin van Vught, Fielies was allowed until the end of the year to pay the fine.
Chabillal said Fielies had come from a humble background and had obtained a higher diploma in civil engineering to become a departmental head with the Hessequa municipality, which incorporated the southern Cape towns of Riversdale, Albertinia, Heidelberg and Stilbaai.
Fielies was in charge of streets, storm water, parks and resorts.
Chabillal said it was puzzling how people appointed to senior posts only saw the glitter of money.
"They see this as an opportunity to enrich themselves, and become instant millionaires."
Prosecutor Juan Agulhas said Fielies was caught out when a contractor complained to the municipality that P Fisher Civil Subcontractors, owned by Paul Fisher, was getting all the contracts to the exclusion of others.
Fisher was in the dock with Fielies but pleaded not guilty to the same charges.
Fisher's case was separated from Fielies, and a trial date was yet to be scheduled.
Van Vught said Fisher, the only civil contractor in the area, was thought to be reliable and competent and for this reason Fielies had corruptly ensured that contracts were awarded to Fisher.
The court heard that Fielies had encouraged Fisher to submit quotations on behalf of other contractors, without their knowledge or consent, to ensure that Fisher got the work.
Fielies inflated Fisher's quotations, and Fisher in turn channelled the additional amounts back to the corrupt municipal official.