Eastern Cape alleged ASIDI multi-million fraudsters released on bail

EASTERN CAPE – Mziwanele Reginald Mzileni (43), Bathandwa Mgoqi (42) and Boy boy Nazo (53) were released on R20 000-00 each by the Bellville Magistrate’s Court on 24 November 2022. This is subsequent to the arrest of the trio by the East London based Hawks’ Serious Corruption Investigation on 23 November 2022 for allegations of theft, fraud and money laundering.
During 2012, National Treasury allocated funding to Eastern Cape Department of Basic Education for the eradication of inappropriate school structures and the provision of basic services such as water, sanitation and electricity.
The Department of Basic Education initiated a project called Accelerated School Infrastructure Delivery Initiative (ASIDI) which was meant to address the inappropriate structures and backlog in basic services. Several Implementing Agents were appointed by the Department of Basic Education and the Department of Roads and Public Works. The Implementing Agents were given a number of schools which would then be allocated to be appointed various contractors.
During 2016, the Department of Roads and Public Works identified duplicate payments to various suppliers who were paid as having done work in the project. On conducting the audit of the work done, it became suspicious that these companies were paid for services that were never rendered.
The matter was referred to the Hawks for criminal investigation. The investigation revealed that further various transactions were made by these paid companies to other different individuals. The investigations further revealed that the Department of Education was prejudiced cash of R6 million.
The matter was remanded to 23 March 2023 in Zwelitsha Magistrate’s Court in the Eastern Cape for transfer to the appropriate court for trial.
Additional four suspects aged between 33 and 47 together with two companies were arrested in East London and King William’s Town in the Eastern Cape on 24 November 2022 for appearance at Zwelitsha Magistrate’s Court on 25 November 2022. More arrests are imminent.

Source: South African Police Service