South Africa: Three People Including Former Ekurhuleni Officials Convicted of Defrauding Municipality

A businessman, two former Ekurhuleni city council officials and their two companies have been convicted of corruption, money laundering and defrauding the municipality of R21.8m in 2007, the Hawks have confirmed.

Velero David, the owner of Meropa Sechabeng Technology, Nilesh Singh, former executive director of the city’s ICT department, and Andrew Mphushomadi, the city’s former chief IT architect, were found guilty in the Commercial Crimes Court in Pretoria on May 23.

Mphushomadi and Singh had worked for the city at the time the crimes were committed.

The case which was successfully investigated by the Hawks, emanated from a tender worth R21.8m to supply and maintain computers in the municipality.

In a statement issued by the Hawks this week, it said at the time of the tender, the bid policy implemented by the municipality provided a strict list of measurements to combat abuse such as fraud, corruption and favouritism.

“The tender was then issued to Meropa Sechabeng Tecnology CC, who had barely been in existence for 10 months. The sole member of the company was David who declared during the bidding process that he had no relationship with persons in the service of the state, or anyone who may be involved in the evaluation and adjudication of the bid.

“However, unbeknown to the municipality at the time, David was related through marriage to Nilesh Singh, who as the executive director of the IT department of the municipality and was instrumental in awarding the tender.”

Singh also arranged for interior decorating services for Meropa Sechabeng. He resigned and joined the company shortly after the tender was awarded.

Mphushomadi was a senior manager within the municipality’s IT department and was also involved in the specifications of the said tender.

He was also a member of Nanga Transport CC.

Shortly after the tender was awarded, Nanga purchased a number of Mercedes Benz trucks which cost close to R4m paid for by Meropa Sechaba with the money received from the municipality. Meropa Sechaba also splashed out around R8m cash from the tender on 16 luxury vehicles.

Singh and Velero (including his company) were found guilty on charges of corruption and fraud. Mphushomadi and his company were also convicted on a charge of money laundering and fraud.

The matter has been postponed to July 31 for pre-sentence reports.

Source: News24


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Publish date : 2019-05-31 14:19:19

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