Four prosecuted in Public Works fraud case

25th May 2022 By: Sane Dhlamini - Creamer Media Researcher and Writer

Four prosecuted in Public Works fraud case

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has welcomed the prosecution of the four people who defrauded the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) of more than R2.8-million.

Jan Mathebula, Solomon Mojela, Romeo Malope and Prudence Mohale appeared in the Pretoria Commercial Crimes Court on charges of fraud on Tuesday.

Six more people, including the alleged ringleader, are expected to be arrested and are all expected to join the prosecuted in the box in June.

SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said the unit’s investigation uncovered that supply chain management officials colluded with businesses, friends and family members to defraud the department through “cover quoting” or rigged quotes.

“In February 2015, the director-general of the Public Works department wrote to the SIU indicating that the department had received a number of allegations of corruption-related activities regarding the procurement of goods and services at the Pretoria and Durban regional offices. The allegations focused on the day-to-day maintenance contracts which the department had awarded to service providers and possible cover quoting,” Kganyago explained.

According to the SIU’s investigation, certain contractors were awarded more contracts than others.

“This disparate award of contracts was underpinned by a practice that indicated that entities linked to certain individuals/entities appeared to quote in collusion with each other,” Kganyago said.

Added to that, the suppliers database was populated with various entities all linked to one person who would then be the beneficiary of the contract award.

The SIU has referred evidence to the National Prosecuting Authority for further action.

President Cyril Ramaphosa tasked the SIU with investigating allegations of corruption, maladministration, malpractice and payments made by the DPWI.