Two eThekweni Municipality administrators and a specialist co-op were captured regarding the granting of a R208m waste tender will remain behind bars until their next appearance in the Durban Specialized Commercial Crimes Court on Thursday.
The trio allegedly illegally awarded the tender to different service providers.
Six other people – who aren’t council employees – were also arrested.
Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said in a statement issued on Wednesday that, soon after their apprehension on Tuesday, the nine suspects were taken to the Commercial Crimes Court where they were charged with fraud and corruption.
“The nine include two managers from eThekwini Municipality while the rest are service providers at the municipality. The Hawks’ National Clean Audit Task Team (NCATT) arrested the nine suspects in the wake of on-going investigations regarding alleged fraud and corruption activities at the municipality,” said Mulaudzi.
Robert Abbu, 62, who is the Deputy Head of Strategy and New Development, and Sandile Ngcobo, 41, who is the Supply Chain Manager were refused bail together with Hlenga Sibisi, 43 – one of the service providers.
Mulaudzi said five service providers, Mzwandile Dludla, 24, Sinthamone Ponna, 55, Sithulele Mkhize, 38, Bongani Dlomo, 53, and Prabagaram Pariah, 61, were granted of R50 000 each, while Khoboso Dlomo, 50, was granted R30 000 bail.
“It is alleged that the municipal officials illegally awarded a R208m tender to four service providers. The Durban Solid Waste tender ran from 2016 until last year. It is claimed the service providers were paid huge amounts of monies even though they did not render any service.
“The court ordered the suspects not to interfere with the witnesses and not to enter the eThekwini Municipality premises as part of their bail conditions. The three remaining suspects are expected to apply for bail on Thursday at the same court while the rest are expected to appear again on August 8,” said Mulaudzi.
He said investigations into the matter are continuing and more arrests are expected.
The national head of the Hawks, Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya, has welcomed the arrests of the nine suspects and said these arrests by no means heralds a new dawn in the fight against corruption and fraud in municipalities across the country.
“I appreciate and commend the work of the team which has been going on for the past nine months. The work will continue until all those who played a role in abusing the taxpayers’ monies answer their actions in a court of law,” Lebeya said.