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4 suspects arrested over R1.2bn Gauteng Health Dept tender appear in court

The 2007 contract was approved even though the department did not have money for it.

Former senior government officials appearing at the Ridge Magistrates Court on 22 October 2020 after they were arrested for alleged tender irregularities committed at the Gauteng Department of Health in 2007. Picture: Nthakoana Ngatane/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Four suspects linked to a R1.2 billion Gauteng Department of Health tender are expected to appear in the Palm Ridge Magistrates Court on Thursday on corruption charges.

The 2007 contract was approved even though the department did not have money for it.

While services were never delivered, two companies - Baoki Consortium and 3P - walked away with R1.1 billion and R300 million, respectively.

The tender for health information and electronic systems was awarded while MEC Brian Hlongwa was in office.

Baoki Consortium director Heinz Smidek later bought a R4.6 million house in Bryanston that Hlongwa lived in rent-free.

More than 10 years later, a report by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) found that Hlongwa received kickbacks, luxury trips, and other benefits.

The report recommended that criminal charges be pursued against him and 11 other people and companies.

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