FORMER Ndlambe infrastructure director Xolani Masiza was one of eight officials of the Alfred Nzo District Municipality who appeared in court this week on charges of fraud, money laundering, corruption, and contraventions of Municipal Finance Management Act totalling more than R300-million.
The charges related to a case of tender fraud dating back to 2014. The arrests were made by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks), which had been investigating the matter since 2015.
A local businessman, Unathi Mantanga, the owner of Linhlenathi Property and LNP Construction, was also arrested.
The other accused are Luyolo Fokazi, Zuko Mani, Thembisa Manciya, Mawethu Mtengwana, Sifiso Ntanga, Nkosinathi Gule and Miranda Matutuba. Fokazi was former chief financial officer at the Alfred Nzo Municipality, while Mani was employed as the supply chain manager.
According to a Hawks media statement, “It is alleged that in October 2014 officials of the Bid Evaluation Committee (BEC) and Bid Adjudication Committee (BAC) attached to the Alfred Nzo Municipality allegedly flouted the procurement processes by irregularly awarding nine contracts to eight companies in relation to water supply (installation of water pipes and tanks) in Matatiele, Mbizana, Umzimvubu and Cabazana.
“The suspects allegedly took the tender documents to another province without authority and pretended as if the BEC and the BAC sat to evaluate the tenders.”
Masiza and his co-accused appeared in the Mount Ayliff Magistrate’s Court on Thursday and were all released on R8 000 bail.
[pullquote]The Hawks said more arrests are expected soon.[/pullquote]
They are due back in court on April 5, pending further investigations.
The Hawks said more arrests are expected soon.
Acting national head of the Hawks Lieutenant General Yolisa Matakata has hailed the arrests as another indication of the continuous collaboration of the Hawks, Special Investigative Unit (SIU) and Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) in their aggressive war against corruption in the Eastern Cape as well as in the country.
“Many cases have been gathering dust and we have been inundated with a lot of complaints. We have a responsibility to make sure that we take our obligation serious and I have sent a team to make sure that all the cases receive the necessary attention speedily,” Lt Gen Matakata said.
Masiza worked for Ndlambe Municipality for 10 years before resigning in June 2014 to join Alfred Nzo Municipality.
He began working for Ndlambe in June 2004 as deputy infrastructure director, and was appointed director of that department in January 2007.
Noluthando Vithi, who married Masiza last year, succeeded him as infrastructure director.