Former municipal manager in court

Image courtesy of stock.xchng

Image courtesy of stock.xchng

A former manager at the Swellendam municipality, on the southern Cape coast, will attempt to have fraud and other charges against him dropped.

Walter Frederick Hendricks appeared before magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court on Thursday. The case was postponed to November 26, for the outcome of representations to the Western Cape Directorate for Public Prosecutions for the withdrawal of the charges.

Hendricks faces two fraud charges involving more than R3 million and three violations of the Municipal Finance Management Act.

According to the charge sheet, he was appointed municipal manager in January 2007, when he was instructed to appoint an investment manager, by means of the tender system, to manage a cash surplus.

The company Quadrix Asset Management and FNB lodged tenders for the project. Quadrix proposed the investment of the funds, while FNB proposed that the bank help the municipality establish a controlled investment process.

Prosecutor Derrik (SUBS: CORR) Vogel alleged that Hendricks unlawfully appointed Quadrix even though the municipality’s bid adjudication committee decided against the company.

Vogel alleged this caused the municipality unauthorised, irregular or fruitless and wasteful expenditure of R281,808. According to the charge sheet, Hendricks also had to obtain three quotations for the fumigation of municipal buildings in Swellendam.

Vogel alleged that he gave the contract to the highest bidder, instead of the lowest, on the basis of his friendship with the business’s owner.

This caused unauthorised, irregular or fruitless and wasteful expenditure of R190,989.


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