KZN Premier’s Office official, service providers in court for alleged R24m tender fraud, Newsline

Durban – The Hawks have confirmed that four more people have appeared in court for tender fraud amounting to R24m in the Office of the Premier in KwaZulu-Natal, bringing the total to 9.

KwaZulu-Natal Hawks spokesperson Simphiwe Mhlongo said a supply chain manager and three service providers were charged for fraud and corruption in the Commercial Crime Court in Durban on Thursday morning and released on bail.

“The supply manager was released on R5 000 bail, while the three service providers were released on R10 000 and R20 000 bail.”

The five officials that were charged in July also appeared in court on Friday.

At the time of the arrest Mhlongo it was alleged that the officials in the premier’s office connived with service providers to secure catering tenders by disregarding all supply chain procedures. He also said the officials allegedly received gratification for their efforts.

Mhlongi said these allegations were reported to the Durban Serious Corruption Investigation, who went through a prosecution guided investigation which led to the arrest of the four officials and one service provider.

NPA spokesperson, Natasha Kara, the five accused are out on bail.

Accused Gugu Kheswa owner of Phumalanga Communications is out on R20 000 bail.

Ziphathie Mboneni Cibane, chief financial officer, at the Office of the Premier is out on R10 000 bail.

The other three, Nomusa Zakwe, Thobelani Makhathini and Sithembiso Msomi, are out on R5 000 bail.

Zakwe is a personal assistant to a senior manager at the Office of the Premier. Makhathini and Msomi work as clerks at the same office.

Mhlongo said all 9 accused are expected to appear in court in April 2021.