Three Eastern Cape contractors have been released on bail after they were arrested and charged on Friday for alleged fraud, theft, corruption and money laundering worth over R10 million.
The allegations are in connection with Mnquma Local Municipality issuing a tender and the appointment of four contractors to do street surfacing at Ngqamakwe town in August 2013.
The municipal officials and the project manager allegedly signed off payments certificates to the four companies for services that were not rendered.
More than R9.1 million, the available project budget at the time, was lost by the municipality. The Hawks investigation further revealed a R982 000 over expenditure on the part of the project.
Phaphama Ntswanti (38) who was the Project Manager, Wonga Malusi (45) and Chuma Matoti (52) were granted R10 000 bail each following their brief appearance in the Butterworth Magistrate Court.
CWZ Matota & Associates and Soyama Construction, were also charged and they are facing similar allegations as they benefitted illegally from the tender.
Two other suspects have not been arrested as they are in quarantine in relation to COVID- 19 in Gauteng and Cape Town respectively. They will be arrested once the quarantine processes have been finalized.
All suspects are expected to appear again in the same court on 02 November 2020. Investigations are still continuing.