- An official in KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala's office has been arrested for alleged tender fraud.
- The matter is related to a R24 million catering tender in which five other officials have already been arrested.
- Three service providers were also nabbed by the Hawks on Friday.
Another official in the office of KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala has been arrested for alleged fraud related to a R24 million catering tender.
The Hawks arrested the woman - supply chain manager Nonhlanhla Pamela Hlongwa - on Friday, with spokesperson Captain Simphiwe Mhlongo saying she appeared in the Durban Commercial Crimes Court on the same day, together with three service providers - Ashley Mervyn Rose, Ntombipela Majozi and Sybil Nompumelelo Motaung.
Mhlongo said Hlongwa was granted R5 000 bail, while two service providers were granted R10 000 bail each, and the third bail of R20 000.
"The bail was determined by the courts, who looked at the circumstances of the accused," he said.
The arrests came after five other people involved in the awarding of catering services to Zikalala's office appeared in the Durban Commercial Crimes Court in July.
News24 previously reported that chief financial officer Ziphathe Mboneni Cibane, 55, was granted R10 000 bail, the premier's personal assistant Nomusa Zakwe, 35, was granted R5 000 bail and Njabulo Makhathini, 34, an administrative clerk, was granted R5 000 bail.
Sithembiso Msomi, 53, a senior administration officer, was also granted R5 000 bail and Gugu Kheswa, 51, a director of Phumalanga Communications Close Corporation, was granted R20 000 bail.
It is alleged that officials colluded with service providers to secure catering tenders disregarding all supply chain procedures.
In an earlier statement released by spokesperson Lennox Mabaso, Zikalala's office said he "respects the rule of law and will allow the law to take its course".
"We wish to state that the Office of the Premier had already placed some of these officials on precautionary suspension pending the conclusion of the internal disciplinary processes," Mabaso said.
He said the matter was now in the hands of the criminal justice system.
"We are duty-bound to allow the process to unfold. We, however, wish to reiterate our position that as government we are committed to good and clean governance. We are fully committed to running a corruption-free government and will therefore deal with all types of fraud and corruption whenever these raise their ugly heads."
He said this included implementing consequence management and working closely with law enforcement agencies.
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