Police open an inquest into Sodi associate’s death

Police open an inquest into Sodi associate's death

Police open an inquest into Sodi associate's death

Rudolf Schoeman.

Rudolf Schoeman.
Image: Supplied

Police have opened an inquest  to investigate the death of the director of CMS Water Engineering, whose company was part of a joint venture in the Rooiwal wastewater treatment plant tender.  

Police spokesperson Col Dimakatso Nevhuhulwi told Sowetan that Rudolf Schoeman, an associate of corruption-accused businessman Edwin Sodi, was found dead by his employee in March at his Bryanston house. 

His family has asked police to investigate the matter further as they suspect foul play.

“The death certificate says natural causes [but] we suspect foul play because his face was smashed and there was definitely assault at some point that evening. A person cannot be so badly injured from natural causes,” said a family member who asked not to be named.

“Somebody assaulted him. There [are] all kinds of speculation but if you see a body like that you realise that somebody did something.”

The family did not want to comment further on the matter.

Nevhuhulwi said: “The cause of death cannot (be) confirmed pending the post-mortem results. The matter is still under investigation.”

A source, has, however, told Sowetan that Schoeman was found on the floor with his face and hands covered in blood. 

In 2019, Schoeman was accused of being appointed fraudulently without following the procurement rules for the upgrading and extension of Bospoort water treatment works in Rustenburg. 

The tender was valued at R85m and Sowetan has seen a receipt of a R24,5m payment in June 2018 from Rustenburg local municipality.    

The same year, the Auditor-General SA flagged the company for irregularities in the awarding of the tender and for allegedly submitting invoices for work not done. 

The municipality opened a fraud case with the police in September 2019. 

Weeks later Sodi’s two companies, NJR Projects and Blackhead Consulting as well as CMS were awarded as a joint venture a R292m tender to expand the Rooiwal in Tshwane which would have possibly averted the cholera outbreak in Hammanskraal.

A forensic report by Ligwa Advisory Services commissioned by the city found that five Tshwane officials who made up the Bid Evaluation Committee (BEC) ignored obvious red flags which would have immediately eliminated Sodi’s companies.

The five officials are currently facing a disciplinary hearing.  

The city terminated the contract last year for poor performance, and announced in June that it was moving to blacklist the companies, their directors and shareholders.  

But Sodi’s lawyers have since written to the city, saying the joint venture’s failure to meet its obligations could not be attributed to NJR and blamed Schoeman for committing fraud which affected the completion of project. 

Source: https://www.sowetanlive.co.za/news/south-africa/2023-07-24-police-open-an-inquest-into-sodi-associates-death/