An Eastern Cape department of education employee and three others appeared in court on charges of corruption, fraud, money laundering and racketeering related to a school nutrition programme, according to the South African Police Service (SAPS).
The suspects, Zukiswa Wana, 47, who worked for the department, Milisa Ngcukana, 41, Sibulele Mnyande, 39, Mzodumo Sijadu, 54, as well as Lowd Trading Enterprise and Ariona Trading 659 appeared in the East London Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.
In a statement, Colonel Katlego Mogale said the charges related to the department’s school nutrition procurement programme.
“The matter was postponed to the 20th January 2020, for a regional court date while all the accused were granted R10 000 bail each,” said Mogale.
Between 2012 and 2013, the department was allegedly defrauded of R2.9 million by Wana, who was involved in the school nutrition procurement programme, in collusion with service providers.
“Wana allegedly falsified invoices as if services were rendered and facilitated payments which were laundered through bank accounts of the service providers, Lowd Trading Enterprise and Ariona Trading 659.
“She was responsible for processing payments of hostel fees throughout the province of the Eastern Cape. She would transfer the funds to unsuspecting service providers on the department’s database and later approached them for a refund claiming to be erroneous payments.
“The refunds would then be deposited into other bank accounts and spent on purchasing property, among other things,” said Mogale.