Thirteen suspects have appeared before the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court on charges of fraud, forgery, uttering, money laundering and corruption.
The accused were arrested for, among others, defrauding the Free State Department of Health.
Some of the accused were arrested on Friday, while others were arrested in the early hours of Tuesday by the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation in Bloemfontein.
Those arrested on Friday include Motsumi Krisjan Polori (46) and Sarah Kenosi Legobate (44), both employees at the Department of Health.
Five company directors, including John Tsietsi Polori (50), Thabo Moeti (39), Mavuso Victor Kwababa (49), Simon Njonga (40) and Lebohang Beqezi (37) were also arrested.
Those arrested today include government employees David Motau (54), Mietje Johns (61), Limakatso Catharine Mabitle (62), Hillary Colleen Kala (56) and John Motsemme Chakane (65), and company director Mmalefa Charity Moloi (39).
It is alleged that during the course of a regulatory audit in the Department of Health, the audit team from the Auditor-General requested information on certain payments to service providers and subsequently queried the procurement processes that were followed.
As a result, an internal investigation followed, whereby it was discovered that false or forged “requests for payment advices” were submitted during the period of January 2011 until December 2015 for payments with regards to the service providers.
It is further alleged that no evidence could be found whether the actual services were rendered by the service providers.
A total amount of more than R8 million was paid to the service providers.
As a result, the Department of Health suffered a total loss of more than R8 million.
The matter was then reported to the police and a case was handed over to the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation in Bloemfontein for further investigation, which led to the arrest of the accused.
The case against the accused has been postponed to Wednesday, 22 September 2021.
David Motau, Motsumi Krisjan Polori and John Tsietsi Polori were released on R5 000 bail each, while the other accused were released on R2 000 bail each. – SAnews