The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has welcomed the arrest of an Eastern Cape Department of Education senior official and her family members in connection with irregular awarding of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) tender.
SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said the Hawks had arrested Eastern Cape education official, Nandipha Tembo, and her husband, Theophilus Tawanda Tembo, together with her brother, Mandilakhe Mgwangqa and charged them with fraud and corruption. The suspects appeared in the Zwelitsha Magistrate Court on Thursday.
“The arrests follow an intensive investigation by SIU in the awarding of a tender by the Eastern Cape Department of Education to Alinani Trading for the supply and delivery of PPE in schools amounting to over R2. 7 million. SIU investigation had revealed that tender was irregularly awarded to Alinani Trading,” Kganyago said.
“SIU investigations in the Department of Education further revealed that Alinani was paid over R4 million between 2018 and 2020 for tenders that have been found to be irregularly awarded,” he said.
He said the SIU had successfully applied to the Special Tribunal to have the bank accounts of Alinani frozen and interdicted the Department from making any further payments to them in October 2020. He said the SIU had also instituted civil proceedings in the Special Tribunal to review and set aside the tender, and to recover financial losses suffered by the State. In line with SIU Act 74 of 1996, the SIU had referred evidence pointing to criminal conduct to the National Prosecuting Authority and the Hawks for further action.
The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) was directed by President Cyril Ramaphosa, in terms of Proclamation No. R. 23 of 2020, to investigate allegations of corruption, malpractice, maladministration and irregularities in the procurement of, and contracting for goods, works and/or services during the Covid-19 state of disaster, and in respect of resulting payments.