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National Prosecuting Authority on Nelson Mandela Bay Metro syndicate in court for tender corruption

20 Nov 2020

Nine members of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality’s (Nelson Mandela Metro) syndicate appeared in the New Law Courts in North End on charges fraud, money Laundering, corruption and Contraventions of the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA) earlier today.

This is in connection with tender corruption worth about R73m earlier today. Mhleleli Mlungisi Tshamase, Walter Shaidi, Fareed Fakir, Rukaard Abrahams, Andrea Joleen Wessels, Nadia Gerwel, Dawid Eduard Le Roux, Zandisile Qupe, and Thando Ngcolomba were released on bail between R5 000 and R100 000.

The nine were charged together with Fakir’s companies Heerkos Projects Cc, Jarami Cc, and Erastyle Pty Ltd Fakir, Abrahams’ Dankovista Pty Ltd, Wessels’ Zeranza 299 Pty Ltd and Le Roux’s Le Roux Inc.

The accused handed themselves over to the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigations, popularly known as the Hawks, at the Humewood Police Station at 07h00 earlier this morning, 20 November 2020.

All though they face counts under Schedule 5 of the Criminal Procedure Act, the state did not oppose bail as were all along aware that they were under investigation and they didn’t pose flight risk.

The matter was remanded to 12 March 2020 for state to seek authorization from the NDPP to prosecute on charges of racketeering in the high court. Between 2013 to 2015, the nine operated as a syndicate to fraudulently and corruptly benefit specific suppliers or consultants (Fakir, Abrahams, Wessels, Le Roux and their companies), to the prejudice of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality (Nelson Mandela Metro) and the National Treasury in the amount of approximately R 73 million.

Generally, the individual accused played various roles within the syndicate. It is alleged that Qupe, Ngcolomba and the late Nelson Mandela Metro councilor, Mongameli Bobani, political office bearers, wielded political power within the Nelson Mandela Metro structures and used their positions to control decision-making in the procurement processes.

They obtained co-operation of specific individuals and influenced appointments in critical municipal positions as well as the appointment of people and entities as suppliers or consultants who were willing to advance the interests of the syndicate.

It is alleged Tshamase, Shaidi and Gerwel were municipal officials who abused their positions to manage the internal Nelson Mandela Metro processes in ways designed to ensure the irregular appointment of Heerkos Projects CC, Jarami CC, Erastyle Pty Ltd (all Fakir’s companies) and Le Roux Inc. (Le Roux’s company) as suppliers or consultants, and consequently paid large amounts into the companies’ respective bank accounts.

It is alleged Fakir, and the entities under his control as well as Le Roux and his entity, played a central role as the suppliers and consultants who were irregularly and/or fraudulently awarded contracts and received payments from the Nelson Mandela Metro.

It is alleged Abrahams and Wessels, with their respective entities, Dankovista Pty Ltd and Zeranza 299 Pty Ltd, were members of the syndicate in private business, who acted as professional launderers. They accepted payments from Fakir’s companies, and from each other, partly for themselves and for onward distribution to other syndicate members.

More charges are expected to be added before the matter is referred for prosecution in the high court.

Sipho Ngwema
NPA Spokesperson
Cell: 082 499 8111