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Corruption accused ex-Gauteng officials defied MEC by awarding R1.2bn tender

In 2007, they awarded a contract that was initially estimated at R57 million for R1.2 billion.

Sybil Ngcobo, Mmakgosi Mosupi, Valdis Romaano and Obakeng Mookeletsi appear at the Palm Ridge Magistrates Court on 22 October 2020 on corruption charges. Picture: Xanderleigh Dookey/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The four former Gauteng Health Department officials who have been charged with fraud and corruption are being accused of not only awarding a R1.2 billion contract without following procurement procedures, they also defied Treasury directives that said there was no money and the contract couldn't be awarded to start with.

Two directors of the companies who received the contract are outside the country but the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said that the net was closing in on them and their companies too.

The NPA alleges that after the contract was awarded, the officials received kickbacks, including houses and furniture.

The Palm Ridge Commercial Crimes Court has released Sybil Ngcobo on R8,000 bail and Mmakgosi Mosupi, Valdis Romano and Obakeng Mookeletsi on R25,000 bail each.

In 2007, they awarded a contract that was initially estimated at R57 million for R1.2 billion.

The NPA's Sipho Ngwema: "This is where we allege that there was corruption - either conflict of interest when the companies were appointed and two, there was no competitive bidding."

But there's more.

"Further, when those deviations were made, the award was not supposed to have gone through because the MEC for Finance had said the R1.2 billion contract could not be awarded because there were no funds for it but the officials that appeared in court went ahead and signed service level agreements."

Ngwema said that arrests of more officials were imminent but the big question is will they include then-Health MEC Brian Hlongwa?

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