Mpumalanga cooperative governance department head faces R28m PPE corruption

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Ngubane appeared in the Nelspruit Magistrates’ Court on Monday and was released on R10 000 bail. According to the Mpumalanga Hawks spokesperson. Photo : Getty Images
Ngubane appeared in the Nelspruit Magistrates’ Court on Monday and was released on R10 000 bail. According to the Mpumalanga Hawks spokesperson. Photo : Getty Images

NEWS


Mpumalanga Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs head, Samukelo Ngubane (50), handed himself over to the Hawks on Monday afternoon after he was charged for flouting the law in the awarding of a R5.9 million contract to supply personal protective equipment (PPE) at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ngubane appeared in the Nelspruit Magistrates’ Court on Monday and was released on R10 000 bail. According to the Mpumalanga Hawks spokesperson, Captain Dineo Sekgotodi, Ngubane contravened the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) as an accounting officer of the department when the tender was awarded.

Ngubane’s appearance came six days after the arrest of the department’s deputy director, Raymond Manzini, his brother Chris Manzini and the director of Gatjeni Trading, Moses Ndlovu, for the same tender.

The three were released on R15 000 bail each and postponed to July 28 when they will appear alongside Ngubane.

Special Investigating Unit (SIU) spokesperson, Kaizer Kganyago, said the investigation revealed that Gatjeni Trading was the only company asked to quote to supply and deliver PPE in March 2020.

READ:  Hawks bust Cogta deputy director for allegedly awarding R6m PPE tender to friend unlawfully

“However, after the PPE contract was awarded, Ndlovu approached Chris Manzini to take over the purchase without the approval of the department,” Kganyago said.

The SIU investigation, he said, further revealed that Chris Manzini also approached his brother Raymond, who is a government official, to provide funding for the purchase and delivery of the PPE.

Raymond Manzini allegedly financed the purchase, in contravention of the provisions of Prevention and Combatting of Corrupt Activities Act 12 of 2004, Kganyago said.

Gatjeni Trading submitted an invoice to Raymond Manzini for the department to pay for the supply.

“Immediately after payment was received, a significant sum of money was transferred to Raymond Manzini’s bank account. In line with the Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunals Act 74 of 1996, the SIU referred evidence pointing to the commission of a criminal offence to the National Prosecuting Authority for further action.

“The prosecution of the trio is a continuation of the implementation of the SIU investigation outcomes and consequence management to recover assets and financial losses suffered by State institutions and/or to prevent further losses,” he said.

READ: EXCLUSIVE | Inside Crime Intelligence’s PPE scandal and the plans to enlarge it tenfold

On February 25, the Hawks arrested chief director in the Mpumalanga health department, Jabulani Rolland Nkosi (58), for the contravention of PFMA for allegedly flouting procurement procedures in acquiring the PPEs valued at R22 million.

Nkosi procured the PPEs in May 2020, on behalf of the education department where he was acting head.

He was granted bail of R10 000 after appearing in the Nelspruit Magistrates’ Court and the case was postponed to April 20. 


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Sizwe sama Yende 

Journalist

+27 11 713 9001
sizwe.yende@citypress.co.za
www.citypress.co.za
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