Former Kenneth Kaunda Municipality Manager, Advocate Mhlupeki Abbey Dlavane (55), and his accomplices; Lebohang Onica Bogatsu (59), Elijah Mahlangu (57), Sello Motsiri (56) and Victor Nicodemus (46), appeared at the Klerksdorp Regional Court on 17 July 2019, on charges of alleged fraud and corruption.
The Hawks’ Serious Commercial Investigation revealed that Dlavane worked in collaboration with the four co-accused, who were employees of the municipality at the time, to defraud the Kenneth Kaunda Municipality through various unlawful transactions to the value of over R2 million for services that were never rendered.
It is alleged that the transactions took place during 2010, and one of them totalling R550 000 was allegedly disbursed to Kumekucha Investments, a company which was not listed on the suppliers database. Further investigation also revealed that Dlavane was a sole director of the said entity.
It is further alleged that the group arranged training for the Municipality employees through a bogus company and the said training never took place despite the fact that the municipality was billed an exorbitant amount. The same tactic was apparently employed with a different training entity but this time the Municipality was able to stop the payment beforehand after a whistle was blown to the group’s alleged illegal activities.
A further fraudulent attempt was made, where the Debtors’ Clerk allegedly conspired with the manager and authorised a payment of a substantial amount to a company, which had an arrangement with the municipality to accommodate students of a local College in Potchefstroom. The management of the Municipality was alerted to the fact that payment never reached the intended recipient which resulted in the cheque being intercepted and stopped.
All these cases were thoroughly investigated and submitted to the Directorate for Public Prosecution (DPP) for a decision which resulted in all five suspects being issued with summons on 6 May 2019, and their subsequent court appearance.
The case has been remanded to the 11th September 2019 for the new prosecutor to study the docket.
The National Head of the Directorate For Priority Crime Investigation, Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya has welcomed the developments in this case.
“While the matter has taken longer than expected, I appreciate the fact that the accused have now been secured before court. Those who continue to defraud municipalities must be rest assured that they will soon have their day in court”, he said.
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