MEC welcomes arrest of former official for fraud, theft

Gauteng MEC for Transport and Logistics, Kedibone Diale-Tlabela, has welcomed the arrest of a former departmental official and her accomplice on charges of fraud, theft and defeating the ends of justice.

The accused appeared at the Durban Magistrates Court on Tuesday for a bail application.

The fraud and theft are estimated to have cost the Department of Roads and Transport (through g-Fleet Management) around R16 million. The pair also face another charge of the use of state vehicles without authorised consent.

“Today marks a great milestone not only for the department but for the people of our province and the people of KwaZulu-Natal and the rule of law. A strong message must echo within the corridors of our department, especially to those who abuse their positions of trust and steal from the people.

"These individuals shamelessly used state resources with common cause to fashion a private business for themselves. They thought this net would never close in on them, but their day has finally come.

“As we embark on this important step of rooting out fraud and corruption, maladministration, malfeasance in our entity, the g-Fleet Management Agency, we would like to assure Gauteng residents that the trust they have bestowed upon us will not be betrayed," the MEC said.

The arrests are the culmination of an investigation spanning six years by the department's Fraud and Anti-corruption Unit, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations and the National Prosecution Authority (NPA).

The former employee was a regional manager for both the Eastern Cape and Durban regions of the g-Fleet entity, which is in the business of renting and leasing vehicles to state departments.

The MEC thanked the team for their diligence and painstaking efforts to follow on acts of wrongdoing and bringing those who are suspected of pilfering state resources to have their day in court.

"While our intervention has brought us to the province of KwaZulu-Natal, our net is cast wide to those dark corners where officials think they can get away with leeching on the resources of the democratic state for their narrow personal gain.

"Today, we have fired only the first salvo to looters of state resources, those who hollow out resources that are meant for the people of Gauteng for their personal gain. I want to take this opportunity to warn these elements that their days are numbered.

“As we fight these rogue elements amongst us, that we remind those who continue to work as trusted stewards and patriots of our democratic state that ethical conduct and honesty also pays," the MEC said.

Source: South African Government News Agency