Four brothers, officials charged with swindling Cape Town out of R2.5m
Decorating firm 'misrepresented to the city that work had been done'
Four brothers have been arrested for allegedly duping the City of Cape Town into paying their company R2.5m for work they did not do.
Two city officials, who allegedly helped them, appeared with the brothers in the Cape Town magistrate's court on Thursday.
Ilitha Painters and Decorators, represented by Asif Khan, Uwais Khan, Irfaan Khan, Craig Kannemeyer, and Abdullatief Abrahams, and city officials Adam Majiet and Alistair Stanbul were arrested on fraud charges on Thursday.
Prosecutor Esmeralda Johnson said the company allegedly “misrepresented to the city that certain work was done. Majiet and Stanbula allowed the invoices to be paid though they knew that the work was not done.”
Johnson did not oppose their release on bail.
Advocate Reuben Liddell, representing the accused, said a warrant of arrest showed the alleged crime was committed on January 1 2019.
“The clients have been aware of this investigation,” said Liddell. “There is another background to this which I can’t bore you with right now. It is common cause that until March 2021, there were three search-and-seizure operations conducted at our clients' businesses. So they have known about this. In fact, some charges were struck from the roll not long ago.”
Liddell asked that the accused be released on bail.
Johnson asked the court to set bail for the Khan brothers at R50,000 and R10,000 for the rest of the accused. She asked that they be directed to hand over their passports to the investigating officer by Friday.
Liddell maintained his clients were innocent.
“These are allegations at the moment,” he said. “Nothing is cast in stone. I see there are reporters in court. These [allegations] still have to be tested. My clients insist on their innocence. It is their constitutional right.”
Magistrate Ronel Oliver granted bail and ordered the accused to report to a police station near them every Friday.
“I am satisfied with regard to the contents of the affidavits that none of you is a danger to society [and] none of you is going to commit another offence while on bail,” said Oliver.
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