Former Gauteng top cop granted bail in blue-light fraud case
Former Gauteng police commissioner Deliwe de Lange and four other people implicated in a tender fraud relating to the supply of police blue lights were granted bail by the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Wednesday.
De Lange‚ Vimpie Phineas Manthata‚ Ramahlaphi Johannes Mokwena‚ James Ramanjalum and Nombhuruza Napo are accused of procurement irregularities amounting to R80m. They face charges of fraud‚ forgery and uttering.
Manthata was granted R50‚000 bail‚ De Lange‚ Napo and Mokwena were released on R20‚000 bail and Ramanjalum was granted R15‚000 bail. Their case was postponed to March 29 2019.
Magistrate Benita Oswell said she granted the bail because the five accused handed themselves over at the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) offices on Wednesday morning. They were also first offenders and had stable addresses.
All accused‚ except Manthata and De Lange‚ are currently in the employ of the SA Police Service.
Manthata was the supplier of police warning lights‚ commonly referred to as blue lights.
Mokwena is a lieutenant-general involved in supply chain‚ Napo is the Gauteng deputy police commissioner and Ramanjalum is a brigadier in supply chain.
The charge sheet states that the SA Police Service had identified a need to equip all newly purchased motor vehicles with the necessary warning equipment such as blue lights‚ sirens and radios.
When the need was discussed at national level‚ invitations for a tender were sent to various potential suppliers‚ including Manthata‚ who is the sole director of a company called Traffic Law Enforcement (Pty) Ltd. He was subsequently awarded the contract.
The state alleges that Manthata submitted documents which purported to be proof that he was tax compliant.
"The documents were fraudulent in that the contents thereof misrepresented the tax status of instrumentation‚" the charge sheet reads.
The state alleges that De Lange‚ Mokwena‚ Ramanjalum and Napo failed to take necessary steps to ensure Monthata was not awarded the contract. De Lange and Napo allegedly facilitated the placement of the orders for the equipment.
"Accused 1 [Monthata] misrepresented that some of the SAPS motor vehicles were fitted with equipment‚” the charge sheet continues.
The offences are said to have occurred between January 1 and April 30 2016.
All the accused indicated in their affidavits‚ which were read out in court‚ that they will plead not guilty to the charges. They claim to have no knowledge of the charges preferred against them.