Mpumalanga Cogta officials arrested for PPE fraud worth R5.9 million

Three officials from the Mpumalanga Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) have been arrested in connection with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) fraud amounting to R5.9 million.

The Hawks on Monday arrested Cogta Deputy Director Raymond Manzini, his brother Chris Manzini, and Gatjeni Trading director Moses Ndlovu in Mbombela.

They appeared at the Mbombela Magistrate Court on charges of fraud and corruption and were released on R15 000 bail each.

A Special Investigating Unit (SIU) investigation into the Mpumalanga Cogta department revealed that Gatjeni Trading was solely requested to quote for the supply and delivery of PPE in March 2020.

But, after the PPE contract was awarded, Ndlovu approached Manzini to take over the purchase without the approval of the department.

SIU investigations further revealed that Manzini also roped in his brother Raymond, who is a government official, to provide funding for the purchase and delivery of PPE.

Raymond Manzini allegedly financed the purchase, in contravention of the provisions of Prevention and combatting of Corrupt Activities Act 12 of 2004.

Gatjeni 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.

“In line with the Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunals Act 74 of 1996, the SIU referred evidence to the National Prosecuting Authority for further action,” said SIU spokesperson Kaiser Kganyago.

“The prosecution of the trio 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,” he added.

The case was remanded for further investigation and will resume on 28 July 2022.

The SIU welcomes the arrest of three individuals, including Mpumalanga Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) official over personal protective equipment (PPE) fraud and corruption amounting to R5.9 million.

— Special Investigating Unit (SIU) (@RSASIU) June 1, 2022

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