Two company directors and a former senior Northern Cape health department official are in hot water over a R453 million irregular tender scandal.
The trio is accused of submitting fraudulent documents for the company, called Defensor Electronic Security Systems to gain an unfair advantage for a tender to supply the health department with security services.
The department’s former HOD used to be a police officer and is currently working as a senior manager in another provincial department.
Defensor Electronic Security Systems was awarded the tender between August and October 2017. Its total value at the time surpassed R224 million, and it later escalated to more than R453 million.
The suspects handed themselves over to the Hawks and appeared before the Kimberley Magistrates Court on Friday.
They were charged with fraud, contravention of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) and contravention of the Private Security Industry Regulation Act.
Gert Renier Van Rooyen and Claudius Gerald Peterson in their capacities as directors of Defensor Electronic Security Systems and Steven Jonkers, former Head of the Department of Health were granted bail.
Van Rooyen and Peterson received R100 000 bail while Jonkers was released on R50 000. The men were also ordered to surrender their passports.
National Hawks boss Lieutenant-General Godfrey Lebeya has welcomed the arrests, saying, “the wheels of justice may not have started quick enough in this matter, but there is no doubt they grind exceedingly fine”.
Lebeya expressed concern over the involvement of senior managers in the alleged tender fraud.
“The members of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation [Hawks] shall continue to secure the attendance in court of all those who involve themselves in committing national priority offences without fear, favour or prejudice,” concluded Lebeya.
The security contract scandal comes weeks after a probe into dodgy personal protective equipment (PPE) contracts also worth millions.
In August, an acting HOD and CFO in the Northern Cape were implicated in a scandal that amounted to R43 million.