Mandla Mamba, the former mayor of Nketoane municipality in the Free State, has been sentenced to eight years in prison for fraud and money laundering which caused the municipality to lose more than R364 000.
Mamba and his co-accused Vincent Mkhefa, who also got eight years and Caroline Nketu, who was sentenced to four years, appeared in the Bethlehem Commercial Crimes Court on Tuesday.
Mkhefa is a former CFO in the municipality, while Nketu was a service provider.
They were found guilty of fraud, money laundering and contravening the Municipal Finance Management Act.
During his term as mayor, Mamba irregularly sourced quotations and paid for playground equipment from Nketu that another company had already provided, said the Hawks.
"Nketu, who was a service provider, was also requested to provide quotations for the same tender contract. Two quotations were then submitted for the amount of R198 500 each. Mkhefa, the former CFO, authorised two payments to Nketu for the amount of R165 600 and R198 500 on two different occasions. No services were rendered by Nketu to the municipality," said Hawks spokesperson Captain Christopher Singo.
The Hawks began investigations after a whistleblower came forward to report the matter in 2011, and in 2019 the three were arrested. Investigations revealed that Nketu paid R1 000 on two different occasions to Mamba.