Former Nketoane mayor sentenced to direct imprisonment for tender fraud

Johannesburg – The embattled former mayor of Nketoane municipality in the Free State, Mandla Mamba together with his accomplices has been handed down a hefty sentence for tender fraud.

The long arm of the law prevailed against the trio on Tuesday, as the Bethlehem Crimes Court warned that the sun will not rise for the three accused.

In the last article published in September, Sunday World reported that the three accused namely, Mamba and his associates, Vincent Mkhefa and Caroline Nketu were all guilty for all charges pinned on them.

As they appeared before the Bethlehem Commercial Crime Court on Tuesday, to learn of their sentencing precedents, the trio was sentenced for fraud, money laundering, and contravening the local government municipal finance management act.

Their conviction emanates from an incident that took place in 2011, where a whistleblower reported alleged tender fraud and corruption committed at the municipality.

This was in regards to the installation of equipment in the parks, where incorrect procurement procedures were followed.

It is further alleged that Mamba sourced a service provider who is not attached to these fraudulent activities and requested her to provide a quotation for playground equipment.

The service provider submitted the quotation for the amount of R32 000 and later delivered the equipment.

She was then paid by the municipality for services that she rendered.

During the same period of time, Nketu who was a service provider was also requested to provide quotations for the same tender contract.

Two quotations was then submitted for the amount of R198 500 each.

Mkhefa the former CFO authorized two payments to Nketu for the amount of R165 600 and R198 500 on two different occasions.

No services were rendered by Nketu to the municipality.

It was also discovered that Nketu paid R1 000 on two different occasions to Mamba.

As a result of these fraudulent activities, the municipality suffered a total loss of more than R364 000.

The matter was reported to the Hawks Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team in Bloemfontein for further investigation which culminated in the arrest of the trio on Friday 19 July 2019.

They appeared in court several times until their conviction on Monday, 20 September 2021.

The court sentenced Mamba and Mkhefa to eight years of direct imprisonment whilst Nketu was sentenced to four years of direct imprisonment.

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