Free State municipality GM headed for prison for fraud, corruption

2019-04-28 16:22
Prison. (Jackie Clausen, Gallo Images, Sunday Times, file)

Prison. (Jackie Clausen, Gallo Images, Sunday Times, file)

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Orange prison garb awaits fraud and corruption convicted former Mangaung Local Municipality general manager, Lehlohonolo Nakedi, after reaching the ceiling with the Constitutional Court ruling he should go serve his 10 year sentence.

The Hawks said Nakedi was expected to hand himself in at a correctional facility in Bloemfontein on Monday morning for him to start serving his prison sentence.

"This follows the dismissal of his application by the Constitutional Court for leave to appeal his conviction. Nakedi was slapped with a 10 year sentence for corruption, eight years for fraud, eight years for money laundering and seven years imprisonment for contravening of the Prevention of Organised Crime Second Amendment Act suspended for three years in 2014 by the Bloemfontein Regional Court," said Hawks spokesperson, Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi.

Nakedi was convicted in 2013 and has since then been fighting to stay out of prison making applications in different courts all the way up to the Constitutional Court where he applied for leave to appeal his conviction.

"Nakedi approached the Supreme Court of Appeal and was not successful. His last hope, the Constitutional Court, also ruled that his application had no reasonable prospects of success. He must serve 10 and eight years imprisonment sentences for corruption and fraud which will run concurrently as confirmed and ordered by the Bloemfontein High Court on the 29 March 2018," Mulaudzi said.

He said Nakedi's case is "related to manipulation of the procurement processes at the municipality where two companies were awarded a vehicle tracking system contract in exchange for gratification".

Nakedi was employed the municipality as general manager: mechanical services in 2003. Before this, three companies had been shortlisted after a tender for the provision of vehicle monitoring and tracking system was advertised.

According to a judgment by the Free State High Court in Bloemfontein in March 2018, a company called Sitech Systems made contact with the municipality in 2003 "shortly" after Nakedi's appointment. According to the judgment, Nakedi was tasked with finalising the monitoring system when he assumed his new position.

Although Sitech was not among the three shortlisted companies, a contract was concluded with the company to fit tracking devices on municipal vehicles. When the Gauteng-based Sitech sought a local company to partner with, Sinako Property Solutions was sub-contracted. This appears to have all been coordinated by Nakedi.

The Hawks said: "For his efforts Nakedi was rewarded with at least R230 000 between April and October 2004".

Sinako is owned by Bridgette Silwana who is the wife to the municipality's executive director: transformation, Mzwandile Silwana.

"It also transpired that Mr Mzwandile Silwana and his wife Mrs Brigette Silwana, through their company Sinani Management Solutions, also benefited from the tender.  The Silwanas and other nine defendants were charged and convicted to 10 and seven years respectively on October 22, 2012 by the Free State High Court in Bloemfontein for corruption, money laundering and fraud," Mulaudzi said.

"Nakedi was charged and tried separately in the Bloemfontein Regional Court and subsequently convicted in 2013. He was sentenced in 2014 however he appealed the sentence at the Free State High Court in Bloemfontein where contravention of the POCA Act and money laundering charges were set aside whilst fraud and corruption charges were upheld."

Read more on:    bloemfontein  |  corruption
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