The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has welcomed the arrests of a businessman and his daughter in the Eastern Cape on charges of fraud, forgery and uttering to the value of R4.3 million related to a personal protective equipment (PPE) tender.
Makhonzandile Lukhope and his daughter Naledi Lukhope were on Wednesday arrested by the Hawks on the charges for the tender awarded by the Eastern Cape Department of Education (ECDoE).
The tender was awarded to Amabongwe Building and Civil Contractors CC (“Amabongwe”) and Tsunami Civils.
SIU spokesperson, Kaizer Kganyago, said: "The pair appeared before the Zwelitsha Magistrates Court (on Wednesday). They were both subsequently released on bail of R 4000 and R 2000 each. The matter has been postponed to 19 August 2022, Regional Court 5 in East London.”
The arrests followed an SIU investigation authorized by the Proclamation R23 of 2020 by President Cyril Ramaphosa to investigate allegations of corruption, maladministration, malpractice and payments made by State institutions relating to PPE procurement, together with the conduct of State employees.
Kganyago said the SIU investigation revealed that Lukhope snr, through his company Amabongwe, allegedly committed fraud through a misrepresentation and with an intention to defraud the ECDoE.
“He unlawfully submitted a Contract of Lease, which had the effect of misrepresenting to the ECDoE that Amabongwe was operational in the Eastern Cape Province and had a business in the Province. This led to the ECDoE into awarding a contract to Amabongwe in the amount of R1.9 million.
“Mr Lukhope also failed to disclose interest in Tsunami Civils, which belongs to his daughter, Miss Lukhope.
“Furthermore, the SIU investigation revealed that Ms Lukhope, through her company Tsunami Civils, allegedly misrepresented and defrauded the ECDoE by unlawfully submitting a Contract of Lease, which had the effect of misrepresenting to the ECDoE that Tsunami Civils was operational in the Eastern Cape Province and had a business in the Province.”
Through the “deceit”, the daughter’s company received a total payment in the amount of R2.4 million, causing actual prejudice to the ECDoE.
“All tenders awarded to the Lukhopes were restricted for businesses operating in the Eastern Cape,” he said. – SAnews.gov.za