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Department of Defence bleeds close to R170m in fraud and corruption - Hawks


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Department of Defence bleeds close to R170m in fraud and corruption - Hawks

Hawks boss Lieutenant-General Godfrey Lebeya
Hawks boss Lieutenant-General Godfrey Lebeya

2nd June 2023

By: News24Wire


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The Hawks are investigating four cases of fraud and corruption that saw the Department of Defence and Military lose R167-million in public funds.

Hawks boss Lieutenant-General Godfrey Lebeya revealed this during a presentation to the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans on 31 May.


In the latest case reported at Sunnyside police station on 24 April 2023, it was alleged that the Department of Defence and Military Veterans awarded a R57-million tender to a service provider to procure machines and to train 900 people to repair potholes in all the provinces.

But Lebeya said proper supply chain processes were not followed during the awarding of the tender.


Lebeya said investigators interviewed the complainant on 16 May to get more clarity on the matter.

"[The] investigation is ongoing."

In a case from 2022, reported to the Pretoria Central police, the Hawks investigated cases of fraud and corruption involving the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) for the Department of Defence.

Lebeya said the matter came to light during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, but was only referred to the Hawks in 2022. According to Lebeya, the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) investigated the case and submitted a report to the Department of Defence.

"DoD (Department of Defence) charged its members, and according to their Defence Act, they could not charge the civilians and the companies involved in the commission of crime on the procurement of the PPEs.

"The alleged companies supplied masks to the department and allegedly paid kickbacks to the officials," Lebeya said.

A total of R44-million in public funds were lost. Lebeya told the committee that 17 SA National Defence Force (SANDF) members, four company directors and eight companies were under investigation.

Lebeya said the Hawks also investigated a fraud, theft and contravention of the Public Finance Management Act case reported at Sunnyside SAPS in April 2021. He said a complainant reported maladministration within the Department of Military Veterans offices in Pretoria.

"These allegations eventually led to the suspension of the five suspects. When accepting tenders, they disregarded the policies that are put in place by the DoD governing the procurement processes and the awarding of the tenders.

"This habit led to the service providers being awarded tenders for Sewing Project and Furniture Making Project, but the money was deposited into the closed corporate account that belongs to the individuals," he said.

Lebeya said no valid service level agreements or contracts were signed between the Department of Military Veterans “irrespective of the full compliance with what was expected to be done in terms of giving training to the Military Veterans and their beneficiaries”.

The Hawks investigation found that there were no advertisements nor invitations of the bidders to all the awarded tenders.

"The tenders were awarded to their favoured friends. They irregularly employed their favourites to senior positions without the necessary qualifications. Such people were never graded in terms of the Public Service Act; nevertheless, they were placed in Senior Management Service level," Lebeya said.

Lebeya said five companies and five suspects were linked to the case, which led to the loss of R37.4-million.

In the last case, involving R29-million in fraud, corruption and theft, from January 2022, the Hawks investigated allegations of irregularities regarding the procurement of skills development at the offices of the Military Veterans Department.

Lebeya said it was alleged that a company provided three-day security courses for more than R4-million, despite not being registered with Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA).

He said a second company was awarded a machinery contract of more than R25-million by National Treasury, but proper processes were not followed.

"The third company was appointed as the new service provider; however, correct processes in appointing them were not followed.

"The matter has been referred to the senior public prosecutor for further instructions and drafting of a case plan," Lebeya said.

SANDF spokesperson Brigadier-General Andries Mahapa said the military could not comment on the matter because it was still under investigation.


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