Part of the assets worth half a billion rand that have been seized from a syndicate involving a senior government official who looted state funds from the Department of Transport in KwaZulu-Natal are houses, farms, cattle, vehicles and a luxury boat are
The KwaZulu-Natal National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) asset forfeiture unit (AFU) on Friday morning seized assets worth R543 328 962.62 from the property of the department’s Siphiwe Christopher Majola and several service providers who reportedly received millions in kickbacks from Durban plant hire companies that were awarded contracts to repair KZN’s ailing road infrastructure.
It was reported that in 2010 that the police’s anti-corruption task team (ACTT) investigated allegations relating to procurement irregularities including theft, fraud and corruption at the department in Pietermaritzburg.
It emerged that the department’s service providers had fraudulently secured several tenders from the department for supply chain goods and services for plant and earthmoving equipment on behalf of the department.
The awarding of the tenders was preceded by several irregularities including the fraudulent circumvention of the department’s supply chain management processes and related prescripts.
Among other fraudulent activities, the service providers invoiced and charged the department for excessive amounts for services purportedly rendered and services which were never rendered. Several substantial corrupt payments were also made to or on behalf of department officials.
Contracts awarded to Durban couple
The investigation revealed that over a period of five years, starting from April 2007 to May 2012, the department awarded several contracts totalling R543 328 926.62 to Barleda 232 CC, Queensburgh Equipment Rental CC and Ubunye Plant Hire CC.
According to a 2013 Daily News report, Majola, who was in charge of awarding short-term road repair and maintenance contracts to various companies on the provincial database, allegedly by-passed internal procurement procedure controls that were meant to spread contracts among various small contractors.
Majola reportedly awarded the bulk of the work to companies owned by a Durban couple, Nesha and Meganathan Govender.
According to the evidence contained in the respective affidavits compiled by Advocate Knorx Molelle, the senior deputy director of public prosecutions and Captain Sibusiso Lawrence Khawula of the Hawks, Majola received several corrupt payments including R430 650.00 for the purchase of a Mercedes Benz C280, R1 500 000 for the purchase of Fernely Farm and several cash payments to the tune of R5 000 000 that were paid towards the purchase of the farm.
A total of R83 072.27 was paid for the installation of a swimming pool at his house and R146 308 was paid for architectural drawings of a house.
A further R224 800 was paid to buy cattle feed for Majola’s farm.
On March 31 Justice van Zyl at the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg secured the AFU a restraining order to seize the assets amounting to R543 328 926.62.
Expectations are that the case would be back in court in June 2017