- Four former senior state officials have been arrested in connection with alleged tender irregularities
- The Hawks swooped in on the government officials on Thursday for crimes connected to the Gauteng Department of Health
- The crimes in question took place over a decade ago, prompting an investigation that has been described as 'long and drawn out' by the Hawks
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The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation has arrested four former senior state officials for alleged tender irregularities committed at the Gauteng Department of Health 13 years ago.
In a statement issued after the arrests were carried out by the Hawks on Thursday morning, the entity commented that:
"The long-drawn-out case by the Hawks’ Serious Corruption Investigation emanates from February 2007, wherein the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) submitted a proposal to the GDoH to continue with an information technology maintenance programme at the department."
The Hawks explained that the cost of the project was exponentially inflated and awarded to a private entity:
"The total cost of such a project was meant to be no more than R57 million for a period of three years. The contract was instead awarded to a private entity at a whooping cost of around R1.2 billion without following due tender procedures."
While the names of the suspects have been withheld until they are all formally charged, the Hawks confirmed the following:
"The four former state officials which included a former Head of Department (HoD), who was also an Accounting Officer at the time, Chief Director of Information Communication and Technology, Head of Supply Chain Management and the Deputy Director for Executive Support allegedly received kickbacks for their role in ensuring that the contract was awarded to an undeserving entity."
In addition to the government officials it was confirmed that two private company directors will also be charged:
"Two private company directors who unduly benefited from the tender are yet to be charged along together with their two companies. The said directors are reportedly outside of the country but steps have already been initiated to ensure that they are accounted for."
The former state officials are expected to appear at the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crime Court on today.
There, they will be facing charges of fraud, corruption, money laundering and contravention of the Public Finance Management Act.
Meanwhile, Briefly.co.za reported that the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation has welcomed the steep sentences imposed on two men found guilty of orchestrating cash-in-transit heists.
The Polokwane High Court handed the suspects, Boitumelo Daniel Aphane (34) and Solly Solomon Monama (38), a total of 285 years on Wednesday.
The pair had operated between September and October 2017 and committed a number of heists in Polokwane, Seshego, Mankweng and Ritavi.
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