South Africa, Cape Town – KwaZulu-Natal Premier’s Office, Ziphathie Cibane, his co-accused and their entities – valued at R23 million – have been seized by the Asset Forfeiture Unit of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
The move follows an order granted by the KZN High Court against the accused, the NPA said in a statement on Tuesday.
In July, Cibane and three other staff members in Premier Sihle Zikalala’s office – Nomusa Zakwe, Thobelani Makhathini and Sithembiso Msomi – appeared in the Durban Specialised Commercial Crimes Court along with Gugu Kheswa of Phumalanga Communications. They were charged with tender fraud and corruption relating to a R24 million catering tender.
Cibane, 55, was granted R10 000 bail, Zakwe, 35, the premier’s personal assistant, R5 000 bail and Makhathini, 34, an administrative clerk, R5 000 bail.
Msomi, 53, a senior administration officer, was also granted R5 000 bail and Kheswa, 51, a director of Phumalanga Communications Close Corporation, R20 000 bail.
It is alleged that officials colluded with service providers to secure catering tenders disregarding all supply chain procedures.
In October, they were joined by more accused: Pamela Hlongwa, Ashley Rose, Ntombimpela Mabel Majozi and Sybil Mataung along with their entities: Roren Engineering, Nto’s Catering CC, I Dot Q, Set Apart Group, Isidleke Enterprises Pty Ltd and Inala Business Consortium.
The State’s case is that the OTP staff, who worked in the supply chain management section, colluded and unlawfully co-operated with these service providers to manipulate the tender process.
’’The properties restrained today, have a cumulative estimate value of R 23.3 million. These include 20 immovable assets including a boutique hotel and 40 motor vehicles,’’ the NPA said.
“The items will be held under curatorship pending the outcome of the criminal trial. The accused are out on various amounts of bail and they return to court on 30 April 2021.’’