‘Mabaso ordered mark-up of 30-45%’

2013-02-13 00:00

FRAUD accused Jabulani Mabaso gave instructions to mark up the price his company paid for stationery to be supplied to KwaZulu-Natal schools by between 30% and 45%, the high court in Pietermaritzburg was told yesterday.

Nqobile Kwitshane, a former employee of Mabaso’s company, Indiza Infrastructure Solutions, testified that one of her tasks was to compile Indiza’s catalogue, which was provided to the Education Department and to schools.

Kwitshane said that on Mabaso’s instructions she included a mark-up on the prices that Indiza was quoted for the stationery.

She said she was responsible for creating an invoice for R114 543 298, which was submitted to the department for payment in respect of stationery in September 2005. When the invoice was submitted, the orders for the stationery had not yet been completed.

Kwitshane said the invoice in question had been approved and signed by Mabaso, who had perused the various purchase orders that listed the items they were intending to buy.

“I know that this amount was paid [by the department], but I never saw the bank statement,” she told Acting Judge Kobus Booyens.

Kwitshane said the orders for the stationery had not yet been placed with suppliers at the time.

The stationery was subsequently bought by Indiza, but she was unable to say whether the items or quantities were the same as those reflected on the purchase orders to the various suppliers.

Indiza did not buy anything from at least one of the suppliers in question, Stationery Den, in respect of whom a purchase order had been made out. This could have been for a number of reasons, such as quality issues or availability of stock, said Kwitshane.

Mabaso has pleaded not guilty to 18 counts of fraud, forgery and uttering involving about R200 million. In a statement setting out his defence, he said he understood that Indiza was entitled to profit from the provision of stationery to schools in terms of the company’s agreement with the department.

The case is proceeding.

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