3 Western Cape municipal officials, one other arrested for PPE procurement fraud

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  • The Covid-19 pandemic may be waning, but allegations of the PPE fraud that surfaced when it all began, are not over yet. 
  • Three Western Cape municipal officials and a man linked to a PPE supplier appeared in court this week for allegedly trying to fix a contract.
  • It was spotted by a sharp-eyed fellow municipal official.

Four more people were arrested for PPE fraud by the Hawks - this time officials from the Matzikama municipality on the West Coast. 

The Hawks' Serious Commercial Investigation team in Bellville arrested Izak Edward Jenner, 50, Aldrick Ivan Hendricks, 52, Jafta Booysen, 51, and Nicolaas Jacobus Klazen, 50.

They appeared briefly in the Vredendal Magistrate's Court on Thursday following their arrest.

They were charged with fraud for allegedly colluding with a service provider, Duneco CC, which had received a tender, allegedly without following proper supply chain management procedures in April 2020.

At the time, the Covid-19 pandemic was in its early days, and there was a countrywide scramble for personal protective equipment. Many companies pivoted to either manufacturing or importing them as demand soared.

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Since then, the Hawks had made a string of arrests countrywide regarding fraud and corruption allegations that emerged during the rushed orders and signing off processes.

In this case, Hendricks was a municipal manager at the Matzikama municipality, Booysen, the chief financial officer, while Jenner was a former Covid-19 coordinator at the municipality. Klazen was linked to the service provider.

The accused were released on R5 000 bail each with strict conditions. The case was postponed to July.

It's alleged that the Supply Chain Unit of Matzikama municipality was tasked with procuring PPE when the country entered a hard lockdown under Level 5. 

PPE had to be procured urgently, and this made deviation from normal procurement processes possible.

The Hawks alleged that four quotations were obtained, but later two of the quotations were allegedly removed, and replaced with a quotation dated two days after the cut-off date, for the services of Duneco CC. 

This was spotted by the supply chain manager. 

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Klazen allegedly deposited R3 000 into the Capitec Bank account of Hendricks' wife, sometime before the incident, and Klazen had allegedly failed to disclose his relationship with Hendricks.

Anton Bredell, Western Cape Local Government MEC said in response to the arrest: "I am thankful that we are seeing results that follow from the investigation. It sends a strong message to people who misuse municipal and taxpayers' money."

Matzikama Municipality Mayor Johan van der Hoven said he was satisfied that a thorough investigation had taken place into the alleged corruption and misuse of funds.

"The court must now go its way through the court process. Until recently, Jenner was still employed by the municipality. He was charged with disciplinary offences, but before the disciplinary hearing could take place, he resigned.

"The other two, Mr Aldrick Hendricks and Mr Jafta Booysen, is former municipal manager and chief financial officer of Matzikama municipality respectively. I hereby confirm the position of the municipality and council, that no corruption or maladministration will be tolerated."

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