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Ex-municipal boss in court over R215m irregular IT tender

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A former municipal manager at Moretele Local Municipality in the North West province appeared in court on Friday over a R215 million irregular IT contract.

Theletsi Roger Nkhumise (49) was hauled before the Moretele Regional Court last week for allegedly contravening the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA), when services provider Flame IT Strategy was appointed to render ICT services in 2016.

In a statement, the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation (Hawks) says the provisions of Regulation 32 of the Municipal Supply Chain Management Regulations were “wrongly, deliberately and unlawfully” applied by the then municipal manager.

According to the Hawks, when Moretele Local Municipality inherited the contract for IT services from Madibeng Local Municipality, irregular provision was allegedly made in subsequent service level agreements for Flame IT Strategy to be appointed for additional work without following processes.

“The original contract between Flame IT Strategy and Madibeng Local Municipality was reportedly remaining with only 23 months until conclusion; however, Moretele Local Municipality appointed the said service provider for three years,” says captain Tlangelani Rikhotso, Hawks spokesperson for the North West.

“The service provider was allegedly appointed without a competitive bidding process and thereafter the contract was extended, deviating from the prescripts of Regulation 32. Additionally, the pricing for the contract was allegedly different from the pricing of the inherited contract. The service provider was allegedly paid an amount of approximately R215 million in total.”

Rikhotso notes the accused faces four counts of contravention of the MFMA 56 of 2003, read with Regulation 32 of the Municipal Supply Chain Management Regulations.

The matter was postponed to 17 August for disclosure of docket and representation.

Major general Patrick Mbotho, provincial head for the Hawks, cautioned: “People who use their positions of power to promote criminal activities will face the full might of the law.”

Nkhumise’s arrest is the latest by the law enforcement unit, which has been probing various legacy municipal contracts that have been deemed irregular.

In May, former Ekurhuleni employees, together with a businessman, were jailed for 36 years, collectively, for their involvement in a corrupt IT tender.

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