SIU Welcomes Arrest of Government Official and Businessman for PPE Fraud

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has welcomed the arrest of Raymond Manzini, Deputy Director of Disaster Management in the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs in Mpumalanga.

Manzini and his co-conspirators – his brother Chris Manzini and Gatjeni Trading director Moses Ndlovu – are charged with fraud and breaching the Public Financial Management Act.

The defendants appeared in Nelspruit Magistrates’ Court on Monday and were released on bail of R15,000 each.

“[The SIU] welcomes the arrest of three people, including an official from the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs in Mpumalanga, for personal protective equipment [PPE] fraud and corruption amounting to R5.9 million,” the SIU said in a statement on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Hawks provincial spokeswoman Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi said the trio’s arrest followed an investigation related to a tender announced by the department for the supply of PPE. The tender was awarded, allegedly illegally, to a company owned by Raymond Manzini’s friend, Moses Ndlovu, through the alleged influence of the deputy director.

An investigation by the SIU revealed that Raymond Manzini financed the purchase and supply of PPE and then facilitated payment to Gatjeni Trading. Immediately after receipt of payment, a large sum of money was transferred to Raymond Manzini’s bank account.

Sekgotodi explained: “After the appointment was made, Ndlovu did not have the resources to provide the PPE and was helped financially by Manzini. After delivery of the items, it [Ndlovu] billed the department and from there reimbursed Manzini by depositing R6 million into the account of the assistant manager’s younger brother, Chris Manizini.

“The investigation linked the defendant to the case and the case has been taken to court. The warrants for their arrest have been executed, hence their appearance in court.

The case was adjourned to July 28 for further investigation.

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Nompilo Zulu

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