South Africa

Former transport minister S’bu Ndebele and former transport DG charged with graft

Former transport minister Sibusiso Ndebele appeared in the Durban Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Tuesday on a charge of corruption related to the awarding of the eNaTIS contract.
Ndebele was granted bail of R10‚000 and the case was postponed until July 20 next year‚ when he will join four other men and four companies also accused in the case when it continues in Pretoria.

Ndebele’s co-accused – former transport director-general George Mahlalela‚ Gilbert Thwala‚ Tebogo Mphuthi and Sibusiso Ncube – appeared in the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Monday, 14 December 2015. They were granted bail of R10‚000 each.

The four accused companies are Dataforce Trading trading as Tasima‚ Mandate Strategy Roadmap and Delivery‚ Brand Partners and Sinosa Construction.

The accused face a range of charges including corruption‚ fraud‚ contravening the Public Finance Management Act and money laundering.

Mahlalela allegedly spearheaded the renewal of Tasima’s contract for the operation of the electronic national administration traffic information system (eNaTIS) in 2010 without following proper procedures.

An investigation by the Hawks revealed that soon after the contract was renewed‚ Tasima allegedly deposited millions of rand into Mahlalela’s bank account. Thwala‚ Ncube and Mphuti also allegedly benefitted from the entire deal.

According to a provisional indictment in the case‚ R10.2-million was transferred from the bank account of Sinosa to a bank account belonging to Ndebele during October 2010 and September 2011. Ndebele was minister of transport during that period.

“Thus‚ the national minister (Accused 1) started received (sic) payments totalling R10 264 000‚00 on 11 October 2010‚ about nine months after the department he was in charge of as a minister had concluded (without following prescribed procurement processes) a contract with one of (Ncube’s) business entities to the value of R49 551 724‚ 83‚” the provisional indictment read.

The indictment said in the absence of any lawful authority or explanation‚ the State will submit that laundered payments to the minister were a gratification to him as envisaged by the Corruption Act.

“Accused 1 did not disclose the payments received from (Sinosa) as prescribed by the Executive Members Ethics Act.”

Ndebele is currently South Africa’s High Commissioner to Australia.