Ex-Limpopo water board CEO, 2 others accused of multimillion-rand tender fraud

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A former water board CEO is in court for alleged corruption.
A former water board CEO is in court for alleged corruption.
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  • Former Lepelle Northern Water Board CEO Phineas Legodi, chairperson of the Bid Evaluation Committee Gwako Moseamedi, and businessman Matome Sefalafala were arrested by the Hawks over the weekend in connection with tender fraud. 
  • They appeared before the Polokwane Magistrate's Court on Monday, facing charges of fraud, alternatively theft, forgery, and uttering.  
  • The case was postponed to Thursday for a bail application.

Former Lepelle Northern Water Board Chief Executive Officer Phineas Legodi, the chairperson of the bid evaluation committee, Gwako Moseamedi, and businessman Matome Sefalafala appeared before the Polokwane Magistrate’s Court in connection with tender fraud totalling R45 million.  

The three were arrested by the Hawks over the weekend, and their Monday appearance in court was brief.

According to National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Sipho Ngwema – Legodi, Moseamedi, and Sefalafala, together with Falaz General Trading and Construction (Pty) Ltd, face charges of fraud, alternatively theft, forgery, and uttering.

Legodi faces an additional charge of contravention of the Public Finance Management Act.

READ | Preservation order preventing former water board CEO access to his pension lapses

"It is alleged that in 2018 the Lepelle Northern Water Board advertised a tender in the Limpopo Province for the collection, removal and disposal of hazardous waste management in 2018.

Accounting

"Legodi was the CEO, an accounting officer of the Lepelle Northern Water Board, at the time, "Ngwema said.

"Based on the recommendations of the bid evaluation committee, chaired by Moseamedi, and the Bid Adjudication Committee (BAC), Legodi appointed Sefalafala’s company, Falaz General Trading and Construction, to render services."

They will return to court on Thursday 17 December 2020 for a bail application. The accused would remain in custody until then, Ngwema added.  

In August, the Mail and Guardian reported that Legodi was suspended pending a probe into alleged maladministration at the entity, a month after an interim board was appointed by Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu.

ALSO READ | Lepelle responds to allegations of unfinished water project for which R9m was paid

Legodi resigned after being placed on precautionary suspension.

Sisulu previously told the SABC the Lepelle board had been mired in controversy over the escalating costs of a Giyani project. 

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