The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has welcomed the arrest of Mpumalanga Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Department head Samkelo Ngubane.

He was arrested and appeared in the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court on charges related to personal protective equipment (PPE) fraud and corruption worth some R5.9 million.

Ngubane’s arrest comes just a week after the arrest of Cogta Mpumalanga’s Deputy Director Raymond Manzini, his brother Chris Manzini and director of Gatjeni Ndlovu Trading, Moses Ndlovu on related charges.

SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said the arrests follow “intensive SIU investigation” in the department.

“[Ngubane] was arrested on Monday by the Hawks in Mbombela. Ngubane appeared at the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court on charges of contravening sections of the Public Finance Management Act. He was released on R10 000 bail and the matter was postponed…for further investigation.

“The prosecution of Ngubane and his co-accused is a continuation of the implementation of the SIU investigation outcomes and consequence management to recover assets and financial losses suffered by State institutions and/or to prevent further losses,” Kganyago said.

He explained that the investigation found that the Manzini brothers possibly colluded with Ndlovu to secure PPE tenders and received a kickback in return.

“Gatjeni Ndlovu Trading 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 purchased PPE items from companies that are registered to do business with government and resold the items to the department at inflated prices, in contravention of the provisions of prevention and combatting of Corrupt Activities Act 12 of 2004.

“Gatjeni Ndlovu 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,” Kganyago said.

The four are expected back in court on 28 July.

Source: South African Government News Agency