Jonas White 47, a former executive mayor of Cederberg Municipality, has been found guilty of corruption by the Clanwilliam Regional Court in the Western Cape
The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) said on Friday that the 47-year-old and his girlfriend, Ezelle Bianca Mankay, 33, as well as Philippus Volschenk, 56, were arrested in December 2013, following investigations into the crimes.
It was the state’s case that, between October and December 2011, White acted beyond his scope of official duties and unduly influenced officials to award three contracts to the value of R460 000 to an entity, EBM Management, owned Mankay.
The said company was contracted to supply food parcels to the municipality. It never delivered.
Mankay entered into a plea and sentence agreement in October 2016, in which she pledged her willingness to testify against White. She subsequently received a three-year suspended sentence.
The third accused, Volschenk, had his case withdrawn following successful representations to the National Director of Public Prosecutions.
The Hawks said White was convicted and sentenced following a plea bargain.
“He has been sentenced to three years in prison, suspended for five years, on condition he is not convicted of any offence that features elements of dishonesty, during the period of suspension,” said Captain Lloyd Ramovha.
Western Cape, acting head of the Hawks, Brigadier Neil Oliver, who led the investigation said the conviction “appears to be a first successfully prosecuted case” in the province under the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, related to the acquisition of private interest in contract, agreement or investment of public body.
“We hope that it will serve as a deterrent to others in privileged positions that they cannot abuse the state resource and get away with it.”