Ex-municipal officials, service provider out on bail for tender fraud

Former Rustenburg local municipality employees who are facing fraud charges have been released on bail.

The group appeared in the Rustenburg magistrate’s court on Tuesday and the case was postponed to September 28. 

Forty-five-year old Sello Michael Makhubela, Obakeng Glen Mokgale, 39, and forty-year Orebotse James Tlale face charges relating to a tender awarded by the municipality for the installation of high mast lights at Kanana Phase 2 and Robega Phase 2 in Rustenburg.

Mokgale and Tlale were arrested by the Hawks’ serious commercial crime investigation on July 19 and appeared in court on the same day.

Makhubela only appeared in court on July 31 after he handed himself over to the police.

Mokgale and Tlale are former employees of the municipality while Makhubela was a service provide.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Henry Mamothame said investigations have revealed that the tender was awarded to Makhubela’s company, which was not compliant, owing to the fraudulent documents submitted in order to win the tender.

Mokgale and Tlale were informed of the company’s non-compliance but still recommended that it be awarded the tender.

“Makhubela is said to have also submitted fraudulent invoices amounting to over R1.7-million for a service that was not rendered,” said Mamothame.

“The accused continued to sign the procurement documents, pretending to have seen the service that was rendered, for payment to be processed.

“The municipality has since instituted internal disciplinary processes that resulted in the dismissal of the two, and criminal charges were subsequently registered.

“Investigations into the matter are completed and the state is ready to proceed with trial.”

The case was postponed for consultation and disclosures with a new lawyer before the matter is transferred to the specialised commercial crimes court for trial.

The trio’s previous attorneys withdrew on record.

According to Mamothame, the court granted each of them R30 000 bail and they were warned not to interfere with witnesses and to avail themselves for the next court sitting.

The director of public prosecutions in North West, Rachel Makhari, and provincial head for priority crime investigation Major-General Patrick Mbotho lauded the investigation and prosecution team for the arrest of the suspects.


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