Former Dr Kenneth Kaunda municipality manager Advocate Mhlupeki Abbey Dlavane and four others accused of fraud and corruption appeared in the Klerksdorp Regional Court on Wednesday, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) said.
Captain Tlangelani Rikhotso said the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Investigation revealed that Dlavane, 55, worked in collaboration with Lebohang Onica Bogatsu, 59, Elijah Mahlangu, 57, Sello Motsiri, 56, and Victor Nicodemus, 46, who were employees of the municipality at the time, to defraud the Dr Kenneth Kaunda municipality through various unlawful transactions to the value of over R2 million for services that were never rendered.
“It is alleged that the transactions took place during 2010, and one of them totalling R550,000 was allegedly disbursed to Kumekucha Investments, a company which was not listed on the suppliers database. Further investigation also revealed that Dlavane was a sole director of the said entity.
“It is further alleged that the group arranged training for the municipality employees through a bogus company and the said training never took place despite the fact that the municipality was billed an exorbitant amount.
“The same tactic was apparently employed with a different training entity but this time the municipality was able to stop the payment beforehand after a whistle was blown about the group’s alleged illegal activities,” Rikhotso said.
A further fraudulent attempt was made, where the debtors’ clerk allegedly conspired with the manager and authorised a payment of a substantial amount to a company, which had an arrangement with the municipality to accommodate students of a local college in Potchefstroom, she said.
“The management of the municipality was alerted to the fact that payment never reached the intended recipient which resulted in the cheque being intercepted and stopped.”
She said all these cases were thoroughly investigated and submitted to the director for public prosecutions for a decision that resulted in all five accused being issued with summons on 6 May 2019 and their subsequent court appearances.
“The case has been remanded to 11 September for the new prosecutor to study the docket,” she said.
National head of the Hawks, Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya has welcomed the developments in this case. “While the matter has taken longer than expected, I appreciate that the accused have now been secured before court.
“Those who continue to defraud municipalities must rest assured that they will soon have their day in court,” he said.
– African News Agency (ANA)