NATIONAL NEWS - The Asset Forfeiture Unit of the NPA (AFU) in KwaZulu-Natal, restrained several immovable properties and vehicles belonging to the Chief Financial Officer from the Officer of the Premier (OTP) in KwaZulu Natal, Ziphathie Mboneni Cibane, his co-accused and their entities.
The move follows an order granted by the High Court of South Africa: Kwazulu-Natal Division, Pietermaritzburg High Court against the accused persons in the criminal matter that is currently before the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court, the NPA said in a statement.
“In July 2020, Cibane and three other OTP staff members, Nomusa Zakwe, Thobelani Makhathini and Sithembiso Msomi appeared in the Durban Specialised Commercial Crimes Court along with Gugu Kheswa of Phumalanga Communications. They were charged with tender fraud and corruption.
“In October 2020, they were joined by more accused: Pamela Hlongwa, Ashley Rose, Ntombimpela Mabel Majozi and Sybil Mataung along with their entities: Roren Engineering, Nto’s Catering CC, I Dot Q, Set Apart Group, Isidleke Enterprises Pty Ltd and Inala Business Consortium.
“The state’s case is that the OTP staff, who worked in the Supply Chain Management Section, colluded and unlawfully co-operated with these service providers to manipulate the tender process,” the statement read.
The properties restrained on Tuesday have a cumulative estimate value of R 23.3 million. These include 20 immovable assets including a boutique hotel and 40 motor vehicles. The items will be held under curatorship pending the outcome of the criminal trial, the NPA said.
The accused are out on various amounts of bail and they return to court on 30 April 2021.