Former North West health HOD, two others in court on fraud charges

Former North West health HOD, two others in court on fraud charges

Former North West health department head Lydia Keneilwe Sebego, 63, the department’s chief director Vuyo Mbulawa, 54, and service provider Roulgh Lotwane Mabe, 69, made their first appearance in an R86m fraud case in the Molopo magistrate’s court in Mmabatho on Friday.

The three were arrested by the Hawks’ serious corruption investigation and serious commercial crime investigation units in Mahikeng on Thursday. 

Sebego is facing two counts of contravening the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), Mbulawa 10 counts of fraud and Mabe six counts of fraud.

The court granted Sebego R10,000, Mbulawa R20,000 and Mabe R100,000 bail. The case was postponed until January 31 for the tracing of the remaining suspects.

“During 2008 to 2009 the North West government sought to build two hospitals in Ledig [Moses Kotane Hospital] and Vryburg [Joe Morolong Hospital].

“A tender was subsequently awarded to the company MR Property (Pty) Ltd, belonging to Mabe, as well as another company belonging to another suspect who is yet to be arrested,” National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Henry Mamothame said. 

He said service-level agreements were signed between the two companies and their directors on services that needed to be rendered to the two hospitals.

“The services were however not rendered while these companies allegedly submitted fraudulent invoices which were paid by the department after being authorised by Mbulawa,” Mamothame said. 

This allegedly led to a loss of more than R86m for the department. 

The state alleges Sebego signed the agreements while she knew that the two companies were not compliant and did not meet the requirements. 

North West director of public prosecutions Rachel Makhari and Hawks provincial head Maj-Gen Patrick Mbotho welcomed the suspects’ arrest and court appearance.