42 people in court for R56m police vehicle branding scam

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Forty-two people have been implicated in a police car branding scam.
Forty-two people have been implicated in a police car branding scam.
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  • Forty-two people have been arrested for their alleged involvement in a police vehicle branding scam. 
  • They face a range of charges including corruption, fraud, money laundering, theft and perjury.
  • Of these, 22 are serving police members.

Forty-two people are set to appear in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on Tuesday to answer to charges related to tender irregularities in the supply chain management (SCM) division of the South African Police Service (SAPS).

All accused face a range of charges including corruption, fraud, money laundering, theft and perjury.

Of the 42 accused, 22 are current members of the police, and an additional six are either retired or have resigned from the police, while the rest are service providers.

The 42nd person in this case handed himself in at the Silverton police station on Monday.

A lieutenant colonel attached to the SCM division in Silverton appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on Monday morning together with five others who were arrested on Friday.

All accused were out on R5 000 bail.

READ | More arrests made in R56m police car branding 'scam'

According to police spokesperson Colonel Athlenda Mathe, the matter dated back to 2018 when national police commissioner General Khehla Sitole established a team to look into allegations of tender irregularities in the awarding of the marking and de-marking of police vehicles. This came after complaints and allegations of corruption were brought to his attention.

"The initial investigations pertaining to the marking and demarking of SAPS vehicles uncovered massive looting of state funds through procurement irregularities, cover quoting and fraudulent processing of contracts to unlawfully award the same supplier having numerous companies registered on the supplier data base," Mathe said.

"This is a build-up case; South Africans should expect that more heads will roll in the next few days," said Investigating Directorate Head, advocate Hermione Cronje.

Sitole commended the efforts of the Special National Anti-Corruption team. 

"We are pleased with the manner in which this case has reached an advanced stage. Over a two-year period, we are now standing at 42 arrests including our own members. We hope that this will serve as a deterrent to those who continue to collude in looting state coffers," Sitole said.

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