- 15 people, including retired Lieutenant-General Johannes Mokwena, appeared before the Specialised Commerical Crimes Court at the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court
- They are accused of fraud, corruption, and theft in relation to PPE supply to police departments during the Covid-19 pandemic
- Mokwena claims that he is too ill to remain in prison and urgently needs to be released on bail in this case
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JOHANNESBURG - Lieutenant-General Johannes Mokwena, aged 61, appeared in the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court in Gauteng for a sitting of the Specialised Commerical Crimes Court along with 14 co-accused in connection with PPE corruption.
During the hearing, Mokwena told the court that he is seriously ill and that if he spends any longer in prison, he would die due to the conditions. He added that his 19-year-old daughter is his only motivation to stay alive. Mokwena's daughter is 19 and in her first year of actuarial science at university.
According to News24, Mokwena previously worked as the head of police supply chain management. He is accused of defrauding the South African Police Service (SAPS) out of an estimated R1.9 million via fraudulent PPE tenders.
Mokwena's defence in the PPE corruption scandal
Mokwena was previously found guilty in the blue light tender case in 2021. He is currently out on bail in this regard. However, he says that he is innocent in the PPE corruption scandal, as it took place after he retired.
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"I retired from the SAPS in 2019. When I left the SAPS, there was no Covid-19 in the country. I am clueless because I was at home when the alleged offence was committed. I am going to plead not guilty," Mokwena said.
eNCA reports that the 15 people accused in this case are facing fraud, corruption, and theft charges. The court expects that more people will be arrested in this case.
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Reactions to Mokwena's testimony in the PPE tender fraud case
"Unfortunately, our choices have consequences."
"If you don't want to do time, don't do the crime, simple really."
"Amazing how the tears flow , once caught . If you choose to join the criminal gravy train , whilst supposedly upholding law , you should be given the maximum sentence (without parole) if found guilty."
"Cry me a river."
"So he joined the police force to be corrupt? Shameful!"
R3m PPE tender mastermind is a SASSA recipient, can't afford R20k bail
Speaking of PPE tender fraud, Briefly News recently reported that Salamina Khoza, a 67-year-old pensioner, allegedly obtained R3 million from PPE tender fraud, but says she can not afford the R20 000 proposed bail she needs to pay to be released from custody.
Khoza claims that she survives on SASSA grants and therefore cannot afford the bail the State is offering. She allegedly registered several companies under the name and used them to obtain PPE tenders, which were granted by the police.
She is accused, along with retired Colonel Isaac Majaji Ngobeni and Brigadier Stephinah Mokgohle Mahlangu. Ngobeni and Mahlangu are charged with processing the payments to Khoza's companies.
Source: Briefly News