NATIONAL NEWS - Four former senior government officials in the Gauteng Department of Health were granted bail on Thursday after making a brief appearance in the Specialised Commercial Crime Court in Palm Ridge earlier.
The four appeared on charges of corruption and contravention of the Public Finance Management Act. The former officials are:
- Sybil Ngcobo (former head of department and accounting officer)
- Mmakgosi Mosupi (former chief director of information and communications technology)
- Valdis Romaano (former director of supply chain management)
- Obakeng Mookeletsi (former deputy director-general, executive support programme manager)
Ngcobo was granted R8 000 bail while the other accused were granted R25 000 bail each.
Two businessmen – John Richard Payne who owns Ukwakha Dezign (Pty) Ltd and Phil Austin who owns Life Channel Communications (Pty) Ltd – were expected to appeared alongside the officials on charges of corruption.
However, their warrants of arrest could not be executed as they are out of the country, according to National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Sipho Ngwema.
The officials were arrested for alleged R1.2 billion tender irregularities committed at the Gauteng Department of Health.
The case against the officials dated back to February 2007, wherein the State Information Technology Agency submitted a proposal to the department to continue with an IT maintenance programme.
According to the Hawks, the total cost of the project was not meant to exceed R57 million for a period of three years.
“The contract was instead awarded to a private entity at a whopping cost of around R1.2 billion without following due tender procedures. The four allegedly received kickbacks for their role in ensuring that the contract was awarded to an undeserving entity.”
The matter has been postponed to 3 December 2020.
Meanwhile, a 48-year-old businesswoman has been released on bail of R20 000 after she made an appearance in the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Mthatha, Eastern Cape on Thursday on two charges of fraud.
The businesswoman, Pumza Poshee Gambula, was arrested by the Hawks for alleged fraud totaling R4.8 million linked to the OR Tambo District Municipality.
Gambula was ordered to hand in her passport, while she was also ordered to report to Madeira Police Station twice a week until the trial was finalised.
The matter has been postponed to 30 October 2020 for further investigations and for it to be transferred to the Regional Court.