The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) welcomes the court appearance of Mr. Marius Harmse-Chief Director Supply Chain Management-Eastern Cape Department of Education (ECDOE), and his wife Mrs. Elanore Harmse and service provider Mr. Sigqibo Makupula, the director of Kups Trading. The three accused were arrested by the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation (HAWKS) and charged with regards to school personal protective equipment (PPE) fraud, corruption, and money laundering.
The accused appeared before the Zwelitsha Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday 30 November 2022, and were each granted R10 000 bail.
The arrests and court appearance follow SIU investigations that revealed that revealed that Mr. Makupula, was paid R4 million by the Department on 31 August 2020, signed off by Harmse. In turn, Makupula purchased a Mercedes-Benz V-class with a payment of R328,000 for Harmse as an alleged kickback for the awarding of the PPE tender.
The SIU probe found that Mr. Makupula transferred a sum of R573 000.00 from his First National Bank account in favour of Star Motors, King William’s Town, towards the purchase price of the vehicle, which was to be purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Harmse to the value of R850 000.00. Mr. Harmse paid the balance of R277 000.00 to Star Motors with the view to settle the balance of the purchase price.
The vehicle was registered in the name of Mrs Harmse on 3 February 2021. Mr Harmse approached the Sales Manager at Star Motors, Mr Hubbard, during April 2021 to place the said motor vehicle on their pre-owned stand as a consignment unit to try and sell it on Mr Harmse’s behalf. Mr Hubbard agreed to the arrangement. The said motor vehicle was sold on 10 May 2021, and on the instruction of Mr and Mrs Harmse to the value of R800 000.00. The purchase price was paid into Mr and Mrs Harmse’s Standard Bank account in the name of Trentrade 23 (Pty). Furthermore, the SIU investigation revealed that this is where the integration took place, the purchase of the said motor vehicle and it being transferred into the name of Mr. Msimango and not that of Mr or Mrs. Harmse show their intent to hide the proceeds and reintroducing as part of the financial system.
In September 2022, the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) obtained a preservation order preserve the Mercedes-Benz V-class belonging to Harmses.
The SIU investigation comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa signed Proclamation R.23 of 2020, which authorised the SIU to investigate all Covid-19-related contracts in all State institutions in respect of the procurement or contracting for goods, works and services, during, or in respect of the National State of Disaster, by or on behalf of State institutions.
In line with the Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunals Act 74 of 1996, evidence pointing to criminal conduct is referred to the National Prosecuting Authority for further action.
Fraud and corruption allegations may be reported via the following platforms: firstname.lastname@example.org / Hotline: 0800 037 774.
Enquiries: Mr Kaizer Kganyago
Head of Stakeholder Relations and Communications
012 843 0048 / 082 306 8888 / email@example.com