The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has been granted a preservation order by the Special Tribunal to freeze pension benefits belonging to former Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) official.
The Special Tribunal order interdicts and restrains the Government Employees Pension Fund and Government Pensions Fund from paying Mr. Clive Charlton an amount of R510 024.00 in pension benefits.
The order will operate as an interim interdict pending the final determination of an action to be instituted by the SIU in the Special Tribunal against Mr. Charlton and NECS Electrical Consulting (NECS) within 30 days.
Between 2014 and 2018, the DPWI had appointed NECS as a service provider to render electrical maintenance and repair services in respect of buildings owned by the DPWI, which other client departments were occupying. The SIU investigation revealed that NECS allegedly submitted various falsified/and or fraudulent supplier invoices to the DPWI and overcharged the DPWI for which it suffered financial losses to the value of R510 042.60.
Mr. Charlton was employed as a Chief Works Inspector at the DPWI within the facilities department. As the Chief Works Inspector, Mr. Charlton was enjoined and responsible for the verification of the subcontractor invoices submitted by the main contractor as supporting documents for payment as they carried a 20% markup which would be paid to NECS.
The SIU investigation revealed that Mr. Charlton allegedly failed to perform his duties with due diligence and failed to verify with the subcontractors whether invoices were correct and authentic.
On 30 September 2021 Mr. Charlton retired from the DPWI at the age of 61. He applied for his pension benefits to be paid out. Following SIU hearing held with Mr. Charlton, the SIU saw it fit and proper to request that the payout of a portion of his pension benefits be preserved pending the finalisation of the action to be instituted in the Special Tribunal to recover financial losses suffered by the State.
The SIU applies for preservation orders to freeze assets, bank accounts and pension benefits early in its investigations, when it identifies evidence pointing to wrongdoing against officials and service providers. This is to ensure that implicated parties do not dissipate assets and make it difficult for the SIU to recover financial losses suffered by the State when the matter is finalised.
The SIU was, in terms of Proclamation R20 of 2018, directed by President Cyril Ramaphosa to investigate allegations of corruption, maladministration, malpractice and payments made by the DPWI together with the conducts of DPWI employees. In line with SIU Act 74 of 1996, the SIU will refer evidence pointing to criminality 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
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