Durban – High-ranking eThekwini Municipality officials and businessmen were among the nine people arrested by the Hawks on Tuesday morning.
The accused included Robert Abbu, 62, who is the Deputy Head of Strategy and New Development, Sandile Ngcobo , 41, the municipality’s Supply Chain Manager.
In the afternoon, they appeared at Durban’s Specialised Commercial Court.
Their arrests came after ongoing Hawks investigations revealed alleged tender rigging, fraud, corruption, racketeering, money laundering charges the accused faced.
The arrests were conducted by the Hawks’ National Clean Audit Task Team.
According to Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi the municipal officials illegally awarded a R208 million tender to four service providers. The Durban Solid Waste tender ran from 2016 until last year. It is claimed the service providers were paid huge amounts of money even though they did not render any service.
The State opposed bail for Abbu, Ngcobo and Hlenga Sibisi, 43, – one of the service providers and their bail hearing will continue on Thursday.
Mzwandile Dludla, 24, Sinthamone Ponnan, 55, Sithulele Mkhize, 38, Bongani Dlomo, 53, and Prabagaram Pariah, 61, were granted of R50 000 bail each while Khoboso Dlomo, 50, got R30 000 bail.
State prosecutor Ashika Lakan said they did not oppose bail for six because they were not flight risks and unlike Abbu, Ngcobo and Sibisi, were not likely to threaten witnesses.
She said firearms were allegedly pointed at municipal employees who did not comply and make payouts to the companies in question.