Hawks nab businessman over R18.3m Human Settlements tender fraud | The Citizen

Hawks nab businessman over R18.3m Human Settlements tender fraud | The Citizen
Hawks nab businessman over R18.3m Human Settlements tender fraud | The Citizen

A Hawks investigation allegedly found the documents submitted by Squad Five Productions CC director Nceba Ntlokwana were fake.

After a lengthy investigation, Squad Five Productions CC director Nceba Ntlokwana has been arrested by the Hawks’ Eastern Cape Serious Commercial Crime Investigation (SCCI) unit.

The 43-year-old was nabbed earlier this week and charged with fraud, forgery and uttering.

He appeared before the Mthatha Specialised Commercial Crime Court on Wednesday, where he was released on R10 000 bail.

The matter will be heard again on 27 August for docket contents.

A ‘dodgy’ tender

At the heart of the case is an Eastern Cape Department of Human Settlement (ECDHS) tender to erect 292 temporary shelters in the OR Tambo region. It was advertised in January 2020 and called on applicants who have done business in the OR Tambo region and have previous experience in similar projects.  

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Squad Five Production CC was one of seven applicants.

The Hawks said Ntlokwana allegedly submitted a tender document with proof of a business address in Mthatha and a certificate of completion of works issued by eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality.

Based on these, Squad Five Production CC was awarded a tender worth more than R18.3 million.

Fake documents

However further investigations into the documentation allegedly found it was fraudulent.

“During the supply and erection period, a whistle was blown about the irregular awarding of a tender. This led to the investigation by the Hawks.

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“The investigation revealed that the proof of business address on the lease agreement and the certificate of completion of work were indeed fraudulent.

“The owner of the property reportedly had no knowledge of the lease agreement. The eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality also rejected the certificate of completion of work,” said spokesperson Captain Yolisa Mgolodela.

Department loses millions

Mgolodela said at the time the matter was reported, the department was already prejudiced by more than R6 million.

The alleged dodgy tender was raised by the DA in September 2020. The party claimed the tender and others in the province were “procured through deviation and without a competitive bidding process”.

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The party’s Sanele Magaqa said alleged dodgy contracts amounted to more than R300 million. R214 million of this was shared between contracts awarded to Squad Five Production CC, SQT Construction and Civils, Takela Trading, and Vitsha Trading.

“The DA is concerned that this could be another gross corruption scandal by the ANC government, disguised as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I have written to the Special Investigations Unit. I have requested they extend their investigation to the provincial Department of Human Settlements,” said Magaqa at the time.

Source: https://www.citizen.co.za/news/south-africa/crime/hawks-18-3-million-tender-fraud/

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