NATIONAL NEWS - The former deputy director of the Kutama Sinthumule Correctional Facility, Clement Raphalalani, was found guilty of fraud and corruption by the Makhado Regional Court on Tuesday.
In 2017, Raphalalani, 56, who was a procurement officer at the facility, awarded a R2.7-million tender to Penson Manufacturing company belonging to Editha Pengson, 57, without following due processes, said the Hawks.
Raphalalani connived with Pengson to inflate the prices of the items procured for the facility in return for R369,380 payment that was transferred from Penson Manufacuring company into Clemson Carriers company which belonged to Raphalalani.
The Hawks’ investigation also revealed that in 2017, Raphalalani unlawfully awarded another tender valued at R1.071,831 to Vhelenda Zwashu Trading Enterprise, owned by his girlfriend.
Raphalalani also transferred R132,500 into his girlfriend’s personal bank account.
Raphalalani and Thabo Makamane, 52, also a deputy director at the facility, allegedly awarded a tender worth R3.588,707 to another company without following due processes in return for R569,500 from the company, said the Hawks in a statement.
“Raphalalani, Makamane, Pengson, Sadiki, Vhelenda Zwashu Trading Enterprise and Clemson Carriers and Pengson Manufacturing were arrested during a sting operation by the Hawks’ Serious Corruption Investigation in December 2018. The Kutama Senthumule Correctional Facility suffered a loss of over R18 million due to these corrupt activities.
“Raphalalani was found guilty on two counts of corruption and 25 counts of fraud, while Clemsons Carriers was found guilty on one count of corruption and 10 counts of fraud.
“Pengson Manufacturing and Distribution was found guilty on two counts of corruption and 25 counts of fraud. The accused will be sentenced on 15 September 2020,” said Captain Matimba Maluleke.
Makamane, who pleaded not guilty, will appear in court on 22 October for trial.
Sadiki and Vhelenda Zwashu Trading Enterprise are due to appear in court on 15 September for a plea bargain.