Wednesday, 09 February 2022

Pretoria: The National Prosecuting Authority Investigating Directorate (NPA ID) says more arrests related to police corruption can be expected.

This, as fifteen people were arrested and appeared in the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in connection with alleged corruption in the awarding of R1.9 million in SA Police Service Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) contracts.

The bail applications of at least 12 of the suspects is expected to be heard in the court on Wednesday with three others already out on bail of R5000 each.

“The arrests follow an investigation into the capture of the SAPS procurement and supply chain to aid front companies to score lucrative contracts and facilitate kickbacks to SAPS senior officials. This is the sixth case by the ID tackling the scourge of corruption within the police service,” NPA ID spokesperson, Sindiswa Seboka, said.

She said the group faces several charges relating to the undue benefit of suppliers in the procurement of latex gloves for SAPS.

“The group face charges of corruption, theft, fraud and forgery. The gang was arrested by the task team of the National Police Commissioner and the (ID), for the acquisition of PPE valued at R1.9 million.

“The accused were arrested for allegations of having caused a supplier to unduly benefit from the procurement of latex gloves in April 2020 for the SAPS nationally,” Seboka said.

Meanwhile, the fraud and corruption case against former mayor and municipal manager of the Thulamela Local Municipal has been postponed in the Thohoyandou Magistrate’s Court.

NPA spokesperson in Limpopo, Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi, said the two were arrested in connection with “the looting” of the Venda Building Society (VBS) Mutual Bank.

“The former mayor [Avhashoni Tshifhango] allegedly received a Jeep Cherokee…valued at R638 400 from the director of VBS as gratification for the…investment made by the Thulamela Municipality and the municipal manager [Hlengani Maluleke] invested R30 million of municipal money into VBS, in contravention of the Municipal Finances Management Act,” she said.

The two have been granted R30 000 bail and the matter has been transferred to the Polokwane Specialised Commercial Crimes Court.

The two are expected back in the court on May 24.

Malabi-Dzhangi added that at least R1.6 billion has been lost by municipalities in Limpopo, Gauteng and the North West after “illegally investing in the bank”.