Three in court for alleged Mpumalanga PPE fraud, corruption

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has welcomed the arrest of three people - including a high ranking Mpumalanga Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs official - in relation to alleged Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) corruption amounting to at least R5.9 million.

The three, Deputy Director Raymond Manzini, his brother Chris Manzini and businessman Moses Ndlovu were arrested on Monday and were each granted R15 000 bail at the Mbombela Magistrate's Court where they appeared on charges of fraud and corruption.

According to SIU spokesperson, Kaizer Kganyago, the arrests come after the unit investigated the department.

“SIU investigation … revealed that Gatjeni Trading [owned by Ndlovu] was solely requested to quote for the supply and delivery of PPE in March 2020. However, after the PPE contract was awarded, Ndlovu approached Chris Manzini to take over the purchase without the approval of the department.

“SIU investigation further revealed that Chris Manzini, also approached his brother Raymond Manzini, who is a government official, to provide funding for the purchase and delivery of PPE. Raymond Manzini allegedly financed the purchase, in contravention of the provisions of Prevention and Combatting of Corrupt Activities Act 12 of 2004,” Kganyago said.

According to Kganyago, the department official allegedly received money from the company shortly after payments from the department were made.

“Gatjeni Trading handed an invoice to Raymond Manzini, the financial provider, for the Department to effect payment. Immediately after payment was received, a significant sum of money was transferred to Raymond Manzini’s bank account,” he said.

The case is expected back in the Mbombela Magistrate Court on 28 July 2022.

Source: South African Government News Agency