R30 mln project boss gone

2015-11-02 10:26

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Pietermaritzburg - Mystery surrounds the disappearance of a man at the centre of the R30 million upgrade of Pietermaritzburg’s Alexandra Park athletics stadium.

Allan Langton’s employers are considering laying criminal charges against him as they believe he absconded with sensitive company information.

Langton was the site manager at the stadium upgrade project until his disappearance nearly two weeks ago. He had been working on the site since October 2014.

The contract, a project of the Msunduzi Municipality, is being completed as a joint venture between Johannesburg-based HH Civils and Durban contractor Calvin and Family.

HH Civils owner Musa Shezi said he was concerned about Langton’s whereabouts and why he had taken the company’s information, believed to include invoices and suppliers’ details, with him.

“He has disappeared with sensitive company information on a laptop and external hard drive. If we are unable to locate him, we may have to lay criminal charges,” he said.

While construction is continuing in his absence, calls to Langton’s two known cellphone numbers went straight to voicemail, and he could not be found at his known address in Pietermaritzburg either.

Langton was once at the centre of an alleged multimillion-rand tender racket in which government officials and senior provincial politicians were implicated.

In 2011 he became a whistle-blower against his then employer, Richards Bay-based Andisa Unathi Investments (AUI), which the Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority believed had swindled over R50 million from the Department of Social Development.

AUI owner Mthokozisi Nxumalo, his wife, other relatives and Social Development supply chain manager Bhekuzalo Khuzwayo were accused of over 90 counts of fraud and racketeering.

Langton admitted he had been pivotal to the operation.

AUI’s modus operandi was to “cover-quote” to provide services at department events. The department, needing three quotes, would approach AUI, which would provide three quotes from three different businesses.

This allegedly gave AUI the ability to fix which company would win. The companies AUI managed included those of the late deputy mayor of uThungulu Municipality Thulani Mashaba, ANC provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala and MPL Bheki Ntuli.

However, the matter was eventually struck off the roll by the Pietermaritzburg Regional Court after the state failed to take the matter to trial.

In 2012, Langton was convicted of theft when he stole R27 000 from then uMhlathuze Mayor Elphas Mbatha.

He had acted as an intermediary for Mbatha to help him secure a rental property in Richards Bay’s plush suburb of Meerensee.

Nxumalo, contacted by The Witness, said the court had struck the AUI matter off the roll after it was postponed 18 times.

“We asked the state to see the evidence against us; they couldn’t provide it. This matter had been ongoing since 2011.”

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