South African authorities have arrested four former public officials for inflating the cost of a prjoect.
The Hawks, on Thursday, arrested former senior Gauteng Department of Health officials for alleged R1.2 billion tender irregularities committed almost 13 years ago.
The arrested are a former head of department who was also an accounting officer at the time; chief director of information communication and technology; head of supply chain management; and the deputy director for executive support.
They are accused of receiving kickbacks for their role in ensuring the contract was awarded to an undeserving entity and have been charged with fraud, corruption, money laundering and contravention of the Public Finance Management Act.
Police say the case emanates from February 2007 where the State Information Technology Agency (Sita) submitted a proposal to continue with an information technology maintenance programme at the department.
The Hawks’ Lieutenant Colonel Philani Nkwalase said the total cost of a project like that was not meant to be over 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.
“Two private company directors who unduly benefited from the tender are yet to be charged along together with their two companies. The said directors are reportedly outside of the country but steps have already been initiated to ensure that they are accounted for,” Nkwalase said.
The four appeared in the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crime Court on Thursday.
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