The National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) Asset Forfeiture Unit has seized assets worth some R37 million from several accused charged with fraud and corruption in the Mhlatuze Water Board matter.
The assets include residences in Cape Town, Durban, Richard’s Bay and Pietermaritzburg and several luxury vehicles including a Range Rover, Mercedes Benz and a BMW.
Assets held in trusts and companies and cash in bank accounts has also been seized.
According to the NPA, the charges relate to R37 million in tenders awarded by the Water Board in which the Water Board’s CEO Mthokozisi Duze, Chief Financial Officer Babongile Mnyandu, and attorney Sithembelo Mhlanga allegedly “acted in concert with each other to circumvent the outcome of supply chain management protocols” in order to award tenders to Mhlanga Incorporated which is owned by Mhlanga.
“Mhlatuze Water Board undertook a SCM [supply chain management] process to appoint a panel of service providers to render legal services to the water board. The approved budget for the panel was unlawfully increased by 640%, by the CEO and CFO.
“They then unlawfully awarded tenders to the value of approximately R37 million to one law firm – Mhlanga Incorporated – and excluded 15 other law firms. It is alleged that the CEO and CFO also received undue benefits from the said law firm during the period that the CEO and CFO had processed/approved the award of tenders to the said firm,” the NPA said.
The matter against the accused is expected back in court on Tuesday.
Source: South African Government News Agency