Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Bethlehem: Mandla Mamba (49), Vincent Mkhefa (46) and Caroline Nketu (52), appeared before the Bethlehem Serious Commercial Crime Court on Monday where they were convicted for fraud, money laundering and contravening local government municipal finance management act.

Their conviction originates from an incident which took place during 2011 where a whistle blower reported alleged tender fraud and corruption committed at Nketoane Local Municipality.

Allegations of fraud and corruption have been made regarding the installation of equipment in the parks, where incorrect procurement procedures were followed.

It is further alleged that Mamba, the former mayor of Nketoane Local Municipality, sourced a service provider who is not attached to this fraudulent activities and requested her to provide a quotation for playground equipment. The service provider submitted the quotation for the amount of R32 000.00 and later delivered the equipment. She was then paid by the municipality for the services that she rendered.

During the same period of time, Nketu who was a service provider, was also requested to provide quotations for the same tender contract. Two quotations were then submitted for the amount of R198 500.00 each.

Mkhefa, the former CFO, authorized two payments to Nketu for the amount of R165 600.00 and R198 500.00, on two different occasions. No services were rendered by Nketu to the municipality.

It was also discovered that Nketu paid R1 000.00 on two different occasions to Mamba. As a result of this fraudulent activities, the municipality suffered a total loss of more than R364 000.00.

The matter was reported to the Hawks Serious Commercial Crime Investigation in Bloemfontein for further investigation which culminated in the arrest of the trio on Friday; 19 July 2019. They appeared in court several times until their recent conviction on Monday; 20 September 2021.

The case has been remanded to Tuesday; 07 December 2021 for sentencing.