Four ex-top Gauteng officials bust for R1.2-billion tender fraud

AFRICAN MIRROR REPORTER

FOUR former senior Gauteng Health Department officials have been arrested in connection with fraud, corruption and money laundering in connection with an irregular R1,2-billion information technology tender.

Former head of department Sybil Ngcobo, Mmakgosi Mosupi (former director of information and communication), Valdis Ramaano (former head of supply chain) and Obakeng Moekeletsi (former deputy director-general), were arrested by The Hawks and have appeared in the Palm Ridge Commercial Crimes Court, where they were granted bail.

The state alleges that in 2007,  the four were involved in criminal activities which resulted in a tender for R57-millions ballooning to R1.2-bilion without following due processes. The four allegedly received kickbacks, running into millions, to ensure that the tender was awarded to an undeserving entity.

“Two private companies directors who unduly benefited from the tender are yet to be charged along with their two companies. The said directors are reportedly outside the country but steps have already been initiated to ensure that they are accounted for,” the Hawks said in a statement.

The arrest and court appearance emanate out of a 2018 probe by the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) which uncovered evidence of how a small firm, 3P, provided kickbacks, which included overseas trips and other benefits to politicians and top officials in order to secure lucrative government contracts.

The SIU report detailed alleged financial misconduct and corruption that cost the department more than R1.2bn between 2006 and 2010, when ANC politician Brian Hlongwa, was then MEC for health. 

The investigation was commissioned by then president Jacob Zuma in 2010, and the SIU submitted its report to him in March 2017. 

  • In a separate development, a 48-year-old woman was arrested and has appeared in court after her arrest in connection with fraud totalling R4.8-million. The state alleges that Phumza Gambula submitted fraudulent documents to various municipalities in the Eastern Cape, purporting that she had conducted door-to-door awareness campaigns for the prevention and containment of COVID-19 pandemic to the rural communities of Port St Johns, King Sabatha Dalinyebo and Mhlonto. Gambula was granted bail of R20 000 and expected back in court on October 30.