School nutrition programme defrauded of R2.9m

Friday, November 29, 2019

Former provincial Department of Education employee, Zukiswa Wana, and three other people appeared in the East London Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, on charges of corruption, fraud, money laundering and racketeering.

The charges relate to the Eastern Cape Department of Education’s school nutrition procurement programme.

It is alleged that between 2012 and 2013, the department was defrauded of R2.9 million by its employee attached to the school nutrition procurement programme, in collusion with service providers.

Wana allegedly falsified invoices as if services were rendered and facilitated payments which were laundered through bank accounts belonging to the service providers, Lowd Trading Enterprise and Ariona Trading 659.

She was responsible for processing payments of hostel fees throughout the province.

She would transfer the funds to unsuspecting service providers on the department's database and then approach them for a refund, claiming that there had been erroneous payments.

The refunds would then be deposited into different bank accounts and spent on purchasing property, among other things.

Wana appeared alongside her co-accused, Milisa Ngcukana, 41, Sibulele Mnyande, 39, Mzodumo Sijadu, 54, and Lowd Trading Enterprise and Ariona Trading 659.

The matter was postponed to 20 January 2020 for a regional court date while all the accused were granted R10 000 bail each. -