Ten more accused in tender fraud case

2011-10-21 00:00

TEN “tenderpreneurs” who are accused in a fraud case within the Social Development Department have been arrested for defrauding the department of more than R60 million.

Seven women and three men made a brief appearance in the Pietermaritzburg Regional Court and were freed on R5 000 bail.

The 10 have been added to the case against the department’s suspended supply chain manager, Bhekuzalo Vincent Khuzwayo, with Mthokozisi Nxumalo and his wife, Hlengiwe, of the Andisa Unathi Investment cc company.

The state alleges that they all benefited from tenders awarded to Andisa Unathi Investment that amounted to R60 million.

The accused face 97 counts of fraud. The company provided marquees, buses, toilets and sound systems for events.

Initially the state believed that R14, 6 million had been defrauded from the department, but now it says the figure is increasing as the investigation continues.

The accused include a teacher, a student from the university of Free State and a nurse.

The whistleblower in this case, Allan Langton, was arrested early this month.

The state said that in terms of the government procurement system, in cases where services are not covered by an open tender, three different quotations have to be submitted, and the tender is awarded to the lowest bidder.

The accused approached directors or members of different companies, obtained their company documents and used these to submit inflated, fake bids.

Khuzwayo is alleged to have created the impression that the three quotations were from three independent service providers, but he had allegedly prepared them, and are from entities related to or associated with him.

The group will be back in court on February 10 as the investigation continues, to join Khuzwayo and the Nxumalos in the dock.

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