More than 100 people have now been arrested in SA’s recent corruption blitz – here’s the list
- The warrant for the arrest of former Free State premier Ace Magashule follows a flurry of recent prosecutions.
- More than 100 people - many of them high-ranking police and government officials - have now been arrested in recent weeks.
- We compiled a list.
- For more articles, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
A warrant for the arrest of former Free State premier Ace Magashule was issued on Tuesday. The action against Magashule, who stands accused of corruption related to a R255 million asbestos tender, follows a flurry of arrests in recent weeks.
More than 100 people – many in the police as well as in provincial and municipal governments – have now been arrested, as the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the Hawks appear to be making good on their promises to prosecute those involved in numerous corruption scandals.
These are all the people arrested in recent weeks:
Top cop Bonang Mngwenya
Last month, deputy national police commissioner Bonang Mngwenya was arrested in a pre-dawn raid.
She faces charges of corruption, fraud and money laundering for her alleged role in ensuring that a R191 million contract to supply emergency warning equipment to the police went to Instrumentation for Traffic Law Enforcement in 2017, News24 reported. According to the NPA, she had an undisclosed close relationship with the company's owner.
National police commissioner Khehla Sitole confirmed last month that 257 police officers have now been arrested in connection with 178 corruption cases as part of a "clean-up operation".
Former state security minister Bongani Bongo and 10 other government officials
Eleven senior government officials were arrested at the end-October, including current serving MP Bongani Bongo, for alleged fraud during 2011 and 2012 in Mpumalanga.
Bongo, a former state security minister, and 10 others - Robert Burwise, Patrick Donald Chirwa, Harrington Sizwakhendaba Dhlamini, Blessing Mduduzi Singwane, David Boy Dube, Sipho Joel Bongo, Vusi Willem Magagula, Bongani Louis Henry Sibiya, Elmon Lawrence Mdaka and Sibongile Mercy - have been charged on 69 counts of corruption, fraud, theft, money laundering and contravention of the Public Finance Management Act, City Press reported.
The majority of the charges are in connection with the R37.5 million sale and purchase of a farm in Naauwpoort, Emalahleni, by the Mpumalanga department of human settlements, ostensibly on behalf of eMalahleni Municipality.
Four senior Gauteng officials for tender fraud
Four former senior Gauteng government officials were arrested by the Hawks last month for alleged tender irregularities committed at the Gauteng Department of Health in 2007.
The case involves an information technology maintenance programme at the department, which was supposed to cost no more than R57 million for a period of three years.
“The contract was instead awarded to a private entity at a whooping cost of around R1.2 billion without following due tender procedures,” the Hawks said.
Former head of department and accounting officer for the Gauteng health department Sybil Ngcobo, former chief director of Information and Communications Technology Mmakgosi Mosupi, former director of Supply Chain Management Valdis Romaano, and former deputy director general and head of Executive Support Programme Manager Obakeng Mookeletsi allegedly received kickbacks for their role in ensuring that the contract was awarded to an “undeserving entity”, according to the Hawks.
JB Marks mayor Kgotso Moses Khumalo and director Cyril Hendry
Last month, the executive mayor of the JB Marks municipality, Kgotso Moses Khumalo, and a municipal director, Cyril Hendry, were arrested by the Hawks in the North West on charges of fraud and theft involving R5 million. They are accused of accessing a trust account with approximately R5 million intended for the municipality, using falfisified invoices
Northwest municipal manager Cassius Sebatane Sejake
A former municipal manager in the Northwest, Cassius Sebatane Sejake (45)) was arrested by the Hawks after allegedly failing to follow processes in the awarding of tenders of almost R6 million between 2018 and 2019.
Department of home affairs officials in Limpopo
Three Limpopo officials employed by the Department of Home Affairs were arrested at the end of October by the Hawks in Jane Furse after allegedly demanding a bribe of R10,000 instead of arresting a man found to be in the country without the necessary paperwork, News24 reported.
Shepherd and Mary Bushiri
The Malawian preacher Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary were arrested last month in a R102-million criminal case.
According to the National Prosecuting Authority, the accused, together with Willah Joseph and Zethu Mudolo, allegedly defrauded investors to the tune of more than R102 million through an investment scheme.
Bushiri faces a raft of allegations including fraud and money laundering case, as well as over allegations involving defamation, his permanent residence and sexual assault.
Home Affairs has also suspended two senior officials who were involved in serving the Bushiri couple with permanent residence notices, News24 reported .
Brigadier Peggy Morongo, Colonel Malesela Moylan and Colonel Paulina Mokgadi
Two senior Hawks officials and a former police officer were arrested this week, on allegations that they were involved in fraud and corruption in relation to promotional appointments in the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation (DPCI). Brigadier Peggy Morongo, Colonel Malesela Moylan - and former SAPS officer Colonel Paulina Mokgadi, stationed at the Silverton office - appeared in the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes court, News24 reported.
Police station commanders Samuel Maredi and Zoleka Joyce Kuboni
Two Gauteng police station commanders were arrested after allegations that they were involved in fraudulently issuing firearm licences. So far 28 people – including the alleged underworld boss Nafiz Modack – were arrested as part of the licence fraud scheme. Seventeen of the accused are police officers.
Samuel Maredi, a station commander at the Kempton Park police station, and Zoleka Joyce Kuboni, a station commander at Roodepoort, appeared in court and have been granted bail.
Phumza Phoshee Gambula
Last month, the Hawks arrested a 48-year-old company director, Phumza Phoshee Gambula, who allegedly defrauded the OR Tambo District Municipality in the Eastern Cape of more than R4.8 million, News24 reported. It is alleged that she submitted fraudulent documents to various municipalities purporting that she conducted door-to-door Covid-19 awareness campaigns to the rural communities of Port St Johns, King Sabatha Dalindyebo and Mhlonto local municipalities.
Newscastle municipality employee Dedre Van Rooyen
A Newcastle municipality worker Dedre Van Rooyen appeared in court and was granted bail after being accused of siphoning R3.1 million since 2012 for her personal benefit.
‘Tax practitioners’ Eunice Mayizole and Mongezi Sikhumbuzo Mayizole
The Hawks recently arrested a couple from the Eastern Cape on charges of tax fraud amounting to R2.6 million. Eunice Mayizole, 40, and Mongezi Sikhumbuzo Mayizole, 47, told locals they were tax practitioners and registered taxpayers on the SARS e-filing system. It is understood that the couple submitted fraudulent information resulting in unlawful refunds. They allegedly demanded a 10% payment for each transaction. None of the victims allegedly had any knowledge of the information which justified any refund.
Limpopo police official Mokwape Bettie Malatji
A Limpopo police official, Mokwape Bettie Malatji, was recently arrested after allegedly attempting to bribe her way to a promotion. Malatji allegedly offered the deputy provincial commissioner R5,000 for a promotion to a recently advertised post.
Johan Mandla Mathabela, assistant director at the Mpumalanga Department of Education
Johan Mandla Mathabela, 62, an assistant director at the Mpumalanga Department of Education, along with two others appeared in court last month after an investigation by the Hawks found that they allegedly colluded to siphon about R300,000 from the department. The money was paid to day care centres which are not registered with the department.
Suman Panday, CEO of Blackie Plastics
A Durban-based CEO and a stock clerk were arrested after allegedly trying to bribe a chicken farm employee with R60,000 to influence a tender. News24 reported that the Hawks' Serious Organised Crime Investigation Unit in Pretoria apprehended Suman Panday, 42, CEO of Blackie Plastics, and Madikana Gerald Mapokgola, 31, a stock clerk at Day Break Farm in Centurion, during an operation at Emperors Palace in Kempton Park.
Two traffic offers arrested after bribe
News24 reported that at the end of October, two traffic officers were arrested after they allegedly impounded a truck on the R101 in North West for unspecified reasons, and later demanded a R5 000 payment.
Warrant officer arrested in bribe case
The Hawks in Limpopo arrested a 52-year-old warrant officer in Polokwane for allegedly demanding a bribe from a drug dealing suspect to make the docket in his case disappear, News24 reports.
11 people arrested for UIF fraud
Eleven people have been arrested as the Special Investigating Unit (SIU)l accused of benefiting from illegal UIF COVID-19 TERS payments. Some R3.5 billion of wrongful payments have already been recouped.
Gauteng health department officials arrested for dressing wound order
Two Gauteng Health Department officials were arrested last month on allegations that they allegedly colluded and fraudulently altered a purchasing order to deliver dressing wound adhesives for some R456,000.
The health department's supply chain clerks, Sibongile Sibiya and Lebowani Zimu appeared in the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on fraud allegations.
Couple arrested for Gauteng tender fraud
A Polokwane couple, aged 33 and 44, was arrested by the Hawks on charges of fraud and corruption to the tune of R2 million.
The husband was an employee of the Helen Joseph Hospital in Johannesburg. He allegedly registered companies belonging to his friends and family on the Gauteng provincial government supplier database. These companies would receive payments without rendering any services, which would be transferred to his wife’s accounts.
15 suspects arrested for roadworthy certificate scam
Last week, the Hawks arrested 15 alleged members of the syndicate in the Free State, Limpopo, Eastern Cape and Gauteng. The suspects allegedly issued roadworthy certificates for vehicles that were never tested and illegally registered vehicles that were deregistered.
Nine arrested for driver licence scam
Also, at the end of October, the Hawks arrested five traffic officers in the Eastern Cape and four driving school owners in the Mount Ayliff, Mount Frere, Ntabankulu and Qumbu areas.
The traffic officers and driving school owners allegedly colluded in the issuing of learner's and driver's licences in return for money from clients, News24 reported.
Former Limpopo attorney Maboku Solomon Maponya
This week, a former Limpopo attorney, Maboku Solomon Maponya, was arrested for allegedly stealing R6 million meant for road accident victims, News24 reported. The money was allegedly paid into his trust account by the Road Accident Fund. He was arrested after accident victims discovered that their claims had been paid, yet they never received the payouts.
Breweries employee arrested for fraud
Last week, the Hawks arrested Naaym Hardien (44), who was employed by Sedibeng Breweries as the materials planner. It is alleged that his employer lost R60 million because of fraudulent invoices that were paid for stock that was never delivered at their warehouse.
North West municipal worker
A technician at a North West municipality was arrested by the Hawks last week after he allegedly offered to cancel a client's R1 million municipal debt for R112,000, News24 reported.
The 52-year-old man was employed as a technician by the Maquassi Hills Municipality.
He allegedly approached a client whose municipal account was in arrears of approximately R1 million and offered to cancel the debt in exchange for a payment.
Former VBS Mutual Bank financial officer Philip Truter entered into a plea bargain with the NPA recently. He will testify against his co-accused in the theft of R2.2 billion and the subsequent fraudulent measures allegedly used to cover it up. In exchange for agreeing to testify, Truter has received a lighter sentence of 10 years, three of which are suspended, compared to the usual 15-year minimum sentence.
Truter, along with former VBS chairman Tshifhiwa Matodzi and two other execs, Andile Ramavhunga and Phophi Mukhodobwane, are accused of siphoning money through various accounts between April 2016 and March 2018.
The state found Truter received R2 million from the bank, and was promised more than R5 million.
The Hawks arrested VBS ‘kingpin’ Tshifhiwa Matodzi in an early morning raid in June this year. It is alleged that Matodzi, the former chairperson of the bank, is the kingpin behind the R2-billion theft.
He controlled Vele Investments, which was the largest "beneficiary" of the theft, and may have personally received more than R300 million from the bank.
VBS CEO Andile Ramavhunga also appeared in court in July this year for his alleged role in the scandal. He received payments of more than R23 million from the bank, according to the state's charge sheet.
In February last year, the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants stripped Ramavhunga of his registration.
The Hawks also arrested Mukhodobwane, the former VBS Mutual Bank treasurer, in June. Mukhodobwane, who allegedly received more than R17 million in payments from the bank, was seen as a whistleblower after he came forward with information in 2018. But he has decried the investigation into the bank as a "racist farce".
Ernest Nesane was one of two officials from the Public Investment Corporate (PIC) implicated and arrested for their alleged roles in the collapse of VBS. He allegedly took a bribe of R7.4 million to look the other way. The PIC lost about R350 million when VBS collapsed.
Paul Magula was the second former PIC official arrested for his alleged role in the VBS scandal. The former head of risk and compliance at the PIC was arrested in June 2020. He allegedly received R7 million from the bank.
Moloko Stanford Maila
Moloko Stanford Maila is a former ANC Member of Parliament. He appeared in the Polokwane Magistrate's Court on Monday with three others in connection with a theft case of R4.8 million, involving the Limpopo Makgatho Community Property Association.
Limpopo Hawks spokesperson Captain Matimba Maluleke told News24 that Maila and others allegedly connived and awarded a farming tender to a company linked to the wife of the senior municipal official without following due process.
It is alleged the accused stole almost R5 million from the association.
Maphala Lazarus Mosena
Maphala Lazarus Mosena is the second co-accused in the Limpopo Makgatho Community Property Association. Mosena was the municipal manager at the Molemole Local Municipality.
Manase Steven Makgatho
Manase Steven Makgatho is a 51-year-old bank employee also charged alongside Maila. He handed himself over to the Serious Commercial Crime Investigation Unit in Polokwane on Saturday.
Lepota Eric Makgatho
Lepota Eric Makgatho, 70, is the former chairperson of the Limpopo Makgatho Community Property Association. The Serious Commercial Crime Investigation Unit arrested Makgatho at his home on Friday evening.
Thoshan Panday, who has been linked to former president Jacob Zuma's son Edward and cousin Deebo Mzobe, is accused of having provided temporary accommodation to the police at inflated prices during the 2010 FIFA Football World Cup. He lost a court bid in mid-September to stop his prosecution for fraud and corruption linked to the event.
He faces 261 counts for fraud - which include falsified invoices, bribes and conspiracy - worth R47 million. Another co-accused, Colonel Navin Madhoe, appeared with Panday in court last week. The case against Panday will be heard in November, News24 reports.
Former KwaZulu-Natal police commissioner Mmamonnye Ngobeni, along with Aswin Narainpershad, is accused of attempting to stop investigations into Panday, who reportedly paid for her husband's birthday party.
It is understood that Ngobeni had agreed to appear in court alongside her co-accused, but then reneged. The NPA later said that Ngobeni was “at large”, News24 reported.
Former ANC MP Vincent Smith handed himself over to police at the Alberton police station last week. He appeared in court on charges of fraud and corruption in relation to money he allegedly received from Bosasa, News24 reported.
Former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi, and the self-proclaimed whistleblower who played a starring role during the State Capture Commission of Enquiry, was charged in the past week charged for his role in making the payments to Smith. Agrizzi was due to appear alongside Smith, however ill health prevented him from doing so.
The Hawks arrested ousted Mangaung mayor and former provincial human settlements MEC Olly Mlamleli on Wednesday morning relating to a controversial asbestos removal contract. The case relates to a R230-million contract to remove asbestos from houses in the Free State - with only R21-million worth of work alleged to have been completed.
Blackhead director Edwin Sodi appeared in the dock alongside Mlamleli. He finds himself at the centre of the R255 million asbestos audit tender scandal - and this week made headlines as the Assets Forfeiture Unit sequestered his range of luxury cars.
Former head of the Free State human settlements department Nthimotse Mokhesi was also arrested in connection with the Free State asbestos matter in late September. He had earlier testified before the Zondo Commission that he received more than R600 000 from Sodi's company.
Mahlomola John Matlakala, director of supply chain management at the Free State human settlements department, was also arrested as part of the scandal. Last week he and businessman Abel Manyike were granted bail of R50,000 in the Bloemfontein High Court.
Nonhlanhla Pamela Hlongwa
The Hawks arrested Nonhlanhla Pamela Hlongwa, a supply chain manager in KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala's office, on Friday, in connection with a R24 million catering tender. She appeared in the Durban Commercial Crimes Court together with three service providers - Ashley Mervyn Rose, Ntombipela Majozi and Sybil Nompumelelo Motaung.
Hlongwa’s PA, Nomusa Zwake, a service provider Gugu Kheswa, as well as admin clerk Njabulo Makhathini and admin officer Sithembiso Msomi, also face charges.
The Hawks also arrested Ziphathe Cibane, chief financial officer in the office of the KZN premier, in connection with the catering tender matter.
Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi resigns
This week, Mulaudzi resigned amid allegations about the National Lottery Commission. He has maintained his innocence. In October, News24 reported that Mulaudzi’s non-profit organisation (NPO) received a R3 million donation from the NLC to establish a sports centre for the community of Mashamba in Limpopo.
Eight officials suspended
Eight officials of the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries have been placed on precautionary suspension after irregularities were found in nine tenders, worth more than R2 billion.
72 arrested for Sassa fraud
Some 72 people – including 14 post office employees - have been arrested in recent months for defrauding the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa). The bulk of these cases involved the fraudulent re-issuance of Sassa or South African Post Office cards resulting in genuine grant beneficiaries not receiving their money, News24 reported. Sassa lost more than R50 million due to card fraud in these cases.
Majola’s firm raided
Last month, the Hawks raided the offices of prominent ANC donor and businessman Thulani Majola's firm LTE Consulting in Sunninghill. The operation was linked to a R77-million contract for masks that the SAPS awarded to the business. LTE was involved in a disastrous project to supply Giyani and other villages in Limpopo with water. The SIU has demanded that LTE and two other companies repay R2.2 billion that they were awarded.
(Compiled by Andrew Thompson and Helena Wasserman)
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