Mpumalanga Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs head Samukelo Ngubane handed himself over to the Hawks on Monday in connection with the awarding of a R5.9m contract to supply personal protective equipment (PPE) at the height of the pandemic.
News 24 reports he was released on R10,000 bail after his appearance in the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court.
Mpumalanga Hawks spokesperson Captain Dineo Sekgotodi said Ngubane contravened the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) as an accounting officer of the department when the tender was awarded.
Ngubane’s appearance came six days after the arrest of the department’s deputy director, Raymond Manzini, his brother Chris Manzini and the director of Gatjeni Trading, Moses Ndlovu, for the same tender.
The three were released on R15,000 bail each and will appear in court on July 28 with Ngubane.
Special Investigating Unit (SIU) spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said: “Their prosecution is a continuation of the SIU investigation outcomes and consequence management to recover assets and financial losses suffered by State institutions and/or to prevent further losses.”
On 25 February, the Hawks also arrested chief director in the Mpumalanga Health Department Jabulani Rolland Nkosi for allegedly flouting procurement procedures in acquiring PPEs valued at R22m.
Nkosi procured the PPEs in May 2020, on behalf of the education department where he was acting head. He was granted bail of R10,000 after appearing in the Nelspruit Magistrates’ Court and the case was postponed to April 20.
Meanwhile, controversial businessman Hamilton Ndlovu and his companies have been blacklisted from doing business with the government under section 15 of the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act.
The Special Tribunal has also set aside and declared unlawful PPE contracts worth more than R150m awarded to him, and to companies related to him.
Nineteen purchase orders ranging from between R2m and R12.3m issued by the National Health Laboratory Services (NHLS) to the companies linked with Ndlovu between 26 March and 8 May 2020 were declared invalid and unlawful.
The SIU and the NHLS were initially trying to recoup R172m from Ndlovu, allegedly received through a fraudulently awarded tender to supply personal protective equipment (PPE).
The Special Tribunal judge calculated up to R158m was liable to be repaid to the state, and ruled that various assets, including funds that have already been preserved, be forfeited to the state.
The SIU and the NHLS were last year granted an order by the Special Tribunal to freeze Ndlovu's assets, of which only R42m could be frozen.
Four companies were also declared liable to the NHLS to repay amounts ranging from R5,000 to R157,000 that had been deposited into their accounts from the proceeds of the unlawful contracts.
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