Some 10 people have been granted bail in the Palm Ridge Specialised Crimes Court where they appeared in a matter related to the procurement of Personal Protective Equipment for the South African Police Service (SAPS).

There are at least 15 accused in the case – including former police officials and officers, officers who were still employed by the police and businesspeople.

According to National Prosecuting Authority Investigating Directorate spokesperson, Sindiswa Seboka, the cohort allegedly committed theft, fraud, forgery and corruption in relation to the awarding of SAPS contracts worth at least R1.9 million.

Sebok said bail was granted for accused businessperson, Lorette Joubert, Kumarasen Prithiviraj, Volan Prithiviraj, Maricha Joubert, former police officers Ramahlapi Mokwena, Lesetja Mogotlane, Veeran Naipal, Alpheus Makhetha and Kysamula Mabasa and SAPS clerk Marcell Marney.

“The group was granted bail of R20 000 each. The court ruled that they are to hand over their passports and not be in communication with Muthray and Associates law firm, or the court will not hesitate to revoke their bail.

“The reason for the gang not to reach out to the law firm is because, in another matter, the law firm represented some of the accused and legal services paid for by the company claimed (Siyanqoba) to have unduly benefitted from cover quoting contracts within SAPS,” Seboka said.

Seboka said at least two others were denied bail in the hearing.

“The pair [Kishene Chetty and former police manager Brigadier James Ramanjalum] were denied bail on the basis of having allegedly committed corruption while out on bail in other matters.

“The state did not oppose bail for three [others] who are retired police officer Isaac Ngobeni and serving police officer Stephinah Mahlangu and civilian Salamina Khoza, who were granted bail last week,” she said.

Seboka explained that the accused were nabbed last week in a joint operation by a task team of the National Police Commissioner and the NPA’s Investigating Directorate.

“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,” she said.

The accused are expected back in court next month.

Source: South African Government News Agency

News Reporter