Eastern Cape municipal boss arrested for R4.8m Covid-19 Relief Fund fraud

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The Hawks have arrested more senior government officials who are allegedly linked to fraudulent activities.
The Hawks have arrested more senior government officials who are allegedly linked to fraudulent activities.
Tiro Ramatlhatse, Gallo Images, Sowetan
  • OR Tambo Municipality's Phumzile Johnson Gwadiso appeared in court on Friday where he was granted R50 000 bail. 
  • The Hawks say Gwadiso allegedly worked in cahoots with a businesswoman who was earlier arrested for charging millions for non-existent Covid-19 awareness work.
  • The businesswoman is currently out on R20 000 bail and is expected back in court on 25 January 2021.


OR Tambo Municipal Whippery Services Manager, Phumzile Johnson Gwadiso, has been arrested for alleged Covid-19 Relief Fund tender fraud worth more than R4.8m.

The 48-year-old appeared in Mthatha Magistrate's Court following his early morning arrest by the Hawks’ Serious Corruption Crime Investigation team.

The Hawks said Gwadiso’s arrest was preceded by the arrest of Ms Pumza Poshee Gambula, a 48-year-old company director, who was arrested on 22 October in the same case.

Hawks national spokesperson Colonel Katlego Mogale said the investigation conducted in partnership with the Special Investigation Unit (SIU), revealed that Gambula submitted fraudulent documents to various municipalities, purporting to have conducted door-to-door awareness campaigns for the prevention and containment of the Covid-19 pandemic, to the rural communities of Port St Johns Local, King Sabatha Dalindyebo, and Mhlonto local municipalities.

Mogale added that further investigation has revealed that the arrested municipal boss allegedly worked in cahoots with Gambula.

"He allegedly signed-off invoices for payments confirming that the campaign took place, this enabled the payments to be processed to the supplier," said Mogale.

Gwadiso was granted R50 000 bail and the matter was postponed to 25 January.

Gambula meanwhile is also expected back in court on 25 January. She is out on R20 000 bail. 

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