CORRECTED | Hawks arrest Durban CEO in Pretoria for alleged bribery
The businessman has denied wrongdoing, and says he will plead not guilty
A Durban-based CEO and a stock clerk were arrested after allegedly proffering a bribe of more than R60,000 to secure a tender.
Hawks spokesperson Capt Ndivhuwo Mulamu said the two were arrested last Friday by the serious organised crime investigation unit in Pretoria.
He said Suman Panday, 42, CEO at Blackie Plastics, and his co-accused, Madikana Gerald Mapokgola, 31, a stock clerk at Day Break Farm in Centurion, were arrested during an operation at Emperors Palace in Kempton Park.
“It is alleged that Panday and Mapokgola approached an employee from Olifantsfontein chicken farm to influence the awarding of a tender to Blackie Plastics for supplying chicken plastic wraps with a promise of a one-off R60,000 gratification and a monthly allowance,” he said.
The employee reported the matter to the Hawks, which led to their arrest after allegedly handing over the R60,000 at a classy restaurant.
“Panday was remanded in custody pending his bail hearing which was postponed to Wednesday and only granted by Thursday. He was granted R150,000 bail, the clerk was granted bail of R3,000 and the case is postponed to 15 January 2021.” Mulamu confirmed.
They appeared before the Kempton Park regional court on charges of corruption. The case was postponed for further investigation.
In a statement, lawyers representing Panday said: "An inaccurate report regarding the arrest and the denial of bail of Mr. Suman Panday, were recently published by the South Africa Police Service (SAPS) and consequently some media.
"It has been confirmed by Mr Suman Panday’s legal representative, that he was arrested on Friday October 9 and an application for bail was part heard on Monday October 12 2020. The bail hearing was then postponed until Wednesday October 14 2020, with bail being granted on October 15 2020.
"Mr Suman Panday has denied all the allegations against him and has confirmed that he will plead not guilty at trial."
Panday was quoted as saying that he would participate in the legal process and would await his day in court.
“I am confident that the charges that have been brought against me will be found to be without merit and that I will be acquitted in due course. I have no convictions and I look forward to the opportunity to restore the good name of both myself and my company.
I trust that the SAPS will not attempt a trial by media by disseminating inaccurate information," he said.
Editor's Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that bail was denied during their first court appearance, pending a formal bail application. This is incorrect. The original story has been corrected. TimesLIVE apologises for the error.