NPA to oppose bail against senior Eastern Cape govt official, businessmen who tried to bribe cops with R3.5m

The NPA’s Investigating Directorate (ID) will on Tuesday morning oppose the bail applications of a senior Eastern Cape government official and two businessmen arrested over the weekend for allegedly attempting to bribe two investigating officers with R3.5 million.

Neil Naidoo, Kenny Govender and Mathew Pillay on Monday appeared before the East London Magistrate’s Court for their bail hearing, but the matter was postponed to Tuesday.

The trio faces charges of corruption, theft and defeating the ends of justice.

They were arrested on Saturday by the ID and the Eastern Cape South African Police Service’s (Saps) anti-corruption unit for allegedly attempting to bribe two investigating officers working with the ID, earlier this year, with R3.5 million in order to halt an investigation into a national Saps furniture tender valued at over R36 million.

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Neil Naidoo, a chief director at the Department of Community Safety and Liaison in the Eastern Cape, is accused of facilitating the bribe on behalf of Govender and Pillay, who are the beneficial owners of KJP Traders (Pty) Ltd.

KJP Traders was awarded the multimillion-rand contract to supply furniture to various service points of Saps for a period of two years. However, it alleged that the furniture was of poor and substandard quality.

The spokesperson of the ID Sindisiwe Seboka said the unit would fight to oppose the accused’s bail applications because they believe they would tamper with investigations into the national Saps furniture tender.

“As the Investigating Directorate we plan to vigorously oppose bail for the three accused that were in court today [Monday] simply because we believe they have the potential to intimidate or get involved with the tampering of investigations that are currently ongoing,” Seboka said.

She said the charges the trio face are very serious.

“The investigating director advocate Andrea Johnson has many times stated that corruption will not be tolerated and we are committed as the NPA to achieve the six-month priority plans set out by the greater NPA.

“But additionally, we’d also like to thank our various law enforcement counterparts for assisting us in this arrest. This is the national police commissioner’s Saps team that is stationed within the ID as well as the Eastern Cape Saps anti-corruption unit.”

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