Three former Western Cape municipal officials have been ordered to jointly pay back R400 027.50 by Judge Johannes Daffue of the Special Tribunal for colluding with Duneco CC, a company operated by Nicolaas Jacobus Klazen, to award a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) tender.
The order follows a Special Investigating Unit (SIU) investigation in the Matzikama Local Municipality, which revealed that the former municipal officials Aldrich Hendricks, Isak Edward Jenner, and Jafta Booysen colluded with Klazen to award a PPE tender to Duneco CC to supply gloves and masks without following supply chain management processes governing public procurement.
WHAT SIU INVESTIGATION FURTHER REVEALED
- The Acting Municipal Manager of the Municipality during March 2020 was Lionel Phillips, who upon the announcement of the hard lock-down, established a Covid-19 team, to arrange for the purchase of PPE.
- A municipal official was instructed to obtain quotes for PPE. The official sent out written requests for quotations to certain suppliers, responses to be received before the closing date of 1 April 2020 at 12h00.
- Four suppliers responded.
- On 1 April 2020 Hendricks replaced Phillips as Acting Municipal Manager and on that same day he was provided with the quotations obtained.
- On 2 April 2020 Hendricks disbanded the Covid-19 team and appointed Jenner as the Covid-
19 co-ordinating officer.
- On 2 April, Klazen of Duneco and Hendricks had a telephonic conversation about the supply of PPE to the Municipality
- Klazen deposited money in the bank account of Hendricks’ wife, before the tender was awarded, and Klazen failed to disclose his relationship with Hendricks.
On 23 June 2023, the Special Tribunal agreed with the findings of SIU investigation and declared that a decision taken by Hendricks, as the acting municipal manager in April 2020 is declared irregular and invalid.
The Tribunal ordered that Hendricks, Jenner, and Booysen must jointly pay the amount of R400 027.50 to the Municipality, together with interest calculated form 22 April 2020. Booysen is the former Chief Financial Officer. The municipal officials resigned after the SIU investigation commenced.
Booysen and Hendricks are now employed as municipal managers at the Laingsburg Local Municipality and Prince Albert Local Municipality in the Western Cape respectively. Jenner is a former MEC of Cultural Affairs, Sport, and Recreation.
Furthermore, the Tribunal ordered that Duneco, and the three municipal officials should jointly pay the costs of the review application brought by the SIU and the Municipality.
The SIU was, in terms of Proclamation No. R. 23 of 2020, authorized by President Cyril Ramaphosa 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.
In line with the Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunals Act 74 of 1996, the SIU referred evidence pointing to the commission of a criminal offense to the National Prosecuting Authority for further action.
In May 2022, the Hawks arrested the three municipal officials and Klazen. They were charged with fraud for allegedly colluding with a service provider, Duneco operated by Klazen, to award a PPE tender without following supply chain management processes in April 2020. They were released on R5 000 bail each. The matter will be enrolled at the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court, Bellville in July 2023.
Spokesperson: Special Investigating Unit
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