Cop probed for tender scams

2009-07-25 00:00

A TOP Pietermaritzburg policeman is under investigation following allegations of fraud involving R500 000 in a city police station.

A senior captain in the supply management section at the Central (Loop Street) police station is alleged to have awarded tenders to a company registered in his gardener’s name, which was registered without the gardener’s knowledge.

Apparently the gardener discovered the existence of the company and the amount of money it had made, of which he had never received a cent. He reported the matter to the police and an investigation was launched.

The Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) is investigating fraud and corruption against the captain and an internal investigation within the police station is also under way.

The captain is alleged to have abused his position in the supply management section to siphon money from the SAPS.

It is believed that he colluded with one or more police officials to approve fraudulent tenders. The “gardener’s maintenance company” is registered in the SAPS database. It is alleged that the company was fraudulently awarded tenders at inflated prices.

The captain is also suspected of being involved in sending SAPS vehicles to a garage owned by a relative of a senior member in the logistics division, for repairs or maintenance at inflated prices.

SAPS spokesman Senior Superintendent Henry Budhram confirmed the allegations. He said the captain has not been suspended, but the necessary action will be taken based on the outcome of the investigations.

“After the internal investigation is complete a decision will be made regarding the suspension.”

ICD spokesman Tiyani Sambo declined to provide details about the investigation. “We can not divulge the contents of the case as this might jeopardise the investigation”.

GOVERNMENT departmental procurement policies are based on guidelines by the National Treasury, which list five “pillars of procurement”:

• value for money

• open and effective competition

• ethics and fair dealing

• accountability and reporting

• equity

In connection with ethics, procurement staff are expected to “recognise and deal with conflicts of interest”. — WR.

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