The Empangeni Magistrate Court on Monday remanded in custody two municipal officials and a civilian who were arrested last week in Northern KwaZulu-Natal for tender fraud and corruption.
The suspects, an iSimangaliso Wetland Park director, a game ranger, and a building capacity manager employed by the St Lucia municipality, appeared in court in connection with tender irregularity, fraud, corruption, extortion, theft and racketeering cases in excess of R100 million.
Their formal bail application is expected to be heard at the same court next week, on 29 December.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Vish Naidoo said the suspects – Nokuthula Lafuleni-Zungu, Caiphus Khumalo and Nkosinathi Victor Ntshangase – were arrested last Friday during a sting operation.
He said investigations revealed that some of the suspects were allegedly demanding money from various service providers that were contracted to do work for the St Lucia Municipality (Isimangaliso Wetland Park) in Mutubatuba.
It was further established that money was paid into accounts linked to the suspects.
“The National Commissioner of Police General Khehla John Sitole has both applauded the South African Police Service (Saps) National Cold Case Unit and welcomed the arrest of three suspects in connection with tender irregularity, fraud, corruption, extortion, theft and racketeering cases in excess of R100 million,” Naidoo said in a statement on Tuesday.
Police said further arrests were expected in the matter as investigations continued.
Compiled by Thapelo Lekabe