Mpumalanga Head of Cooperative Governance Department Faces R28m PPE Corruption


Ngubane appeared in Nelspruit Magistrates’ Court on Monday and was released on a 10,000 rand bail. According to the Mpumalanga Hawks spokesperson. Photo: Getty Images


Mpumalanga’s head of cooperative governance and traditional affairs, Samukelo Ngubane (50), surrendered to the Hawks on Monday afternoon after being accused of flouting the law when awarded a contract to R5.9 million for the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) to at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ngubane appeared in Nelspruit Magistrates’ Court on Monday and was released on a 10,000 rand bail. According to Mpumalanga Hawks spokesman Captain Dineo Sekgotodi, Ngubane breached the Public Financial Management Act (PFMA) as the department accountant when the tender was awarded.

Ngubane’s appearance came six days after deputy department director Raymond Manzini, his brother Chris Manzini and Gatjeni Trading director Moses Ndlovu were arrested over the same tender.

The three were released on bail of R15,000 each and postponed until July 28, when they will appear alongside Ngubane.

Special Investigation Unit (SIU) spokesman Kaizer Kganyago said the investigation revealed that Gatjeni Trading was the only company asked to supply and deliver PPE in March 2020 .

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“However, after the PPE contract was awarded, Ndlovu approached Chris Manzini to resume the purchase without departmental approval,” Kganyago said.

The SIU investigation, he said, further revealed that Chris Manzini had also approached his brother Raymond, who is a government official, to fund the purchase and delivery of the PPE.

Raymond Manzini allegedly financed the purchase, in violation of the provisions of Law 12 of 2004 on the prevention and fight against corruption, Kganyago said.

Gatjeni Trading submitted an invoice to Raymond Manzini for the department to pay for the supply.

“Immediately after receipt of payment, a large sum of money was transferred to Raymond Manzini’s bank account. Pursuant to the Special Investigative Units and Special Courts Act 74 of 1996, the SIU referred evidence indicating the commission of a criminal offense to the national prosecuting authority for further action.

“The trio’s lawsuit is a continuation of the implementation of the results of the SIU investigation and consequence management to recover assets and financial losses suffered by state institutions and/or to prevent further losses,” he said.

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On February 25, the Hawks arrested the chief director of the Mpumalanga Department of Health, Jabulani Rolland Nkosi (58), for breaching the PFMA for allegedly flouting procurement procedures when procuring PPE from worth R22 million.

Nkosi purchased the PPE in May 2020, on behalf of the education department of which he was acting head.

He was released on R10,000 bail after appearing in Nelspruit Magistrates’ Court and the case was adjourned to April 20.

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