Councillor, fake employee up for R34 000 tender fraud

Morena Soato (32) was arrested by the Hawks on 22 June 2016 following a plan to allegedly scam a 46 year old woman who in December 2015 was awarded a R4.9 Million tender by the Department of Public Works in the North West to renovate schools in Bloemhof.

The complainant alleges that before she even knew that she had been awarded the tender, Soato approached her pretending to be an employee of the Department of Public Works. The suspect allegedly informed her that she was awarded the R4.9 Million tender and that he was sent by the Director of Public Works to deliver her appointment letter. It is alleged that the suspect further requested a R34 000 donation that he claimed was for the Department, which she subsequently paid.

After making inquiries at the department, the woman was told that she had indeed won the tender but the letter she had in her possession was fraudulent and that the person she had given the money to was not an employee of the department. She then informed the Hawks and suspect was arrested and appeared before the Potchefstroom Magistrate Court on 23 June 2016 where he was released on R3000.00 bail.

A 42-year-old councillor at the Leekwe Teemane Local Municipality in Bloemhof, was also arrested after investigations linked him with the fake department employee. The suspects’ bank statements allegedly indicate that the two collaborated to defraud the woman. The Councillor will appear before the Bloemhof Magistrate court on 08 July 2016 for a formal bail application; meanwhile Soato will also appear at the Potchefstroom magistrate court tomorrow for further investigation.