Millions more frozen from 7 firms linked to school decontamination, halting spending on travel and loans
The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has been granted a preservation order by the Special Tribunal to freeze R22.4m in the bank accounts of seven more companies contracted to decontaminate Gauteng schools during last year's Covid-19 lockdown.
This is in addition to the R40.7m preservation order granted last month. Sunday Times reported at the weekend that the directors of these companies went on a spending spree that included designer watches, jewellery, luxury cars, plastic surgery, investment policies and paying off home loans.
SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said the latest order prohibits Chachulani Group Investment Holdings, Muta Investment Holdings, Netvision Energy Savers, Psychin Consulting, Home Ground Trading 1105 Pty Ltd, Mpale Investments Holdings Pty Ltd, and Naledzi Investment Trust from dealing with the funds held in the bank accounts.
“The companies began dissipating the funds received from the Gauteng department of education upon receipt. Traces of the funds show that the companies made large payments to unidentified recipients who have, in turn, disposed of them,” he said.
“Some of the funds went towards travel and accommodation, and towards loan repayments.
“It appears that the companies have been disposing of the funds with the intention of frustrating any claim that the SIU may have to those funds.”
The hold on the bank accounts is for 10 days.
The SIU is investigating allegations of unlawful procurement of services by the department as part of its R431m expenditure to decontaminate, disinfect and sanitise schools.
Kganyago said the corruption-busting unit will launch review proceedings in the Special Tribunal by June 19, and also seek an order against the service providers to pay back all profits as a consequence of their appointment.