Senior officials among 12 in court for allegedly defrauding Free State health department of R8.7m

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  • Current and former employees of the Free State health department appeared in court with five businessmen in connection with fraud. 
  • They are accused of facilitating payment of R8.7m to the companies of the businessmen for non-existing work.
  • They face 304 charges relating to the contravention of the Public Finance Management Act, forgery, uttering, fraud, corruption and money laundering.

Twelve people, including current and former Free State health department officials, appeared in court on allegations of defrauding the department of R8.7 million over a five year period.

Two of the accused are officials employed by the department while one is an HOD who resigned and four are retired employees.

They were joined in court on Monday by five businessmen whose companies were accused of receiving non-existing work payments, regional NPA spokesperson Phaladi Shuping said in a statement.

The accused face 304 charges of relating to the contravention of the Public Finance Management Act, forgery, uttering, fraud, corruption and money laundering.

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The current employees of the department are Motsumi Polori and Kenosi Legobate.

They appeared in the Bloemfontein Magistrate's Court alongside the department's former head David Motau and retired employees of the department Mietjies Johns, John Chakane Maria Mabitle and Lebohang Beqeze.

The company directors Tsietsi Polori, Thabo Moeti, Mavuso Kwababa, Simon Njonga and Charity Moloi also appeared in court.

They run Tsa Rona Consultancy, Azrago, Land Breeze Trading, Amakholwa Consultancy Training and Zen Communications.

The State alleges that between January 2011 and December 2015 the officials facilitated and approved payments of claims for services that these companies did not render, said NPA spokesperson Phaladi Shuping.

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Shuping added:

Department officials used the companies as vehicles to commit the offences because they never rendered any service to the department.

There were agreements between the companies and the department.

Shuping said the department processed and approved payments to the total amount of R8.7 million in favour of these companies.

The payments were made as follows:

  • R2 758 978 was paid to Tsa Rona;
  • Siphilile Investment was paid R125 982;
  • Azrago received R97 500;
  • R704 520 was paid into the account of Land Breeze Trading;
  • Amakholwa Consultancy received R1 508 462; and
  • Zen Communications got R3 565 868.
All the payments were fraudulent because none of the companies rendered any service to the department - NPA spokesperson Phaladi Shuping.

The accused were released on bail of amounts ranging from R2 000 to R5 000.

The case was postponed to 22 September for a high court date.

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