Director arrested over R4.8 million Covid-19 awareness tender

Director arrested over R4.8 million Covid-19 awareness tender

- A 48-year-old is appearing in the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Mthatha following her arrest earlier on Thursday

- The woman and her company are facing charges of fraud to the tune of over R4.8 million

- This is in connection for Covid-19 awareness services provided to the OR Tambo District Municipality

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An A48-year-old woman was arrested on Thursday morning by the Hawks and is set to appear in the Specialised Commercial Crimes court as both an individual and the sole proprietor of her company.

A three-month-long investigation, led by the prosecution, has been probing her ties to Covid-19 awareness services provided to the OR Tambo District Municipality.

It is understood that the company and its sole director had intentionally submitted fraudulent documents claiming that she conducted door-to-door awareness campaigns to raise awareness during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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The Hawks arrested the woman on Thursday morning. Image: Facebook/ Hawks
Source: UGC

Rural communities in Port St Johns Local, King Sabatha Dalindyebo and Mhlonto local municipalities were listed as targeted regions.

The woman had invoiced three municipalities for over R4.8 million for these services which were partially rendered with fake supporting documents.

The Sunday Times had reported in July that the company had invoiced for the work after claiming employees had spoken to over 6 000 people.

However, community members had revealed that no one had ever visited them to provide them with information on the pandemic.

The publication had detailed that the Phathilizwi Training Institution had invoiced the district for over R3 million in may and another R1.8 million a few days later.

Meanwhile, reported that 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.

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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."

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