Former Ratlou municipal manager in court over R5.8m tender fraud

The Hawks. Picture: Bloemfontein Courant

‘It is alleged that as the accounting officer, the suspect failed to take reasonable steps to ensure that public procurement processes were followed and observed.’

A former acting manager for the Ratlou municipality in the North West has been arrested for alleged tender fraud by the Hawks’ serious corruption investigation on Monday. 

It is alleged that Cassius Sejake was involved in awarding tenders to the value of R5.8 million between 2018 and 2019, when he was the acting municipal manager. 

“It is alleged that as the accounting officer, the suspect failed to take reasonable steps to ensure that public procurement processes were followed and observed,” Captain Tlangelani Rikhotso explained in a statement. 

This means service providers were allegedly appointed without a competitive bidding process. 

Sejake has appeared in the Atamelang Magistrate’s Court. He was charged with contravening Section 173 of the Municipal Finance Management Act. Section 173 refers to fruitless and wasteful expenditure. 

Last year, OFM News reported that the South African Municipal Union’s (Samwu) Ratlou branch repeatedly requested forum meetings to voice their employees’ concerns, specifically regarding suspicious transferring, suspension and termination within the municipality. 

During this time, Samwu provincial secretary Vincent Diphoko told the publication that Sejake was not qualified to be Ratlou’s acting municipal manager. 

The matter has been postponed to Tuesday for a formal bail application. 

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