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EASTERN CAPE – Ayanda Matinise (35), a messenger in the office of the Member of Executive Council (MEC) for the Department of Health appeared in the Mthatha Specialised Commercial Crime Court today, 8 July 2021 immediately after the arrest for alleged charges of fraud, forgery and uttering. He was released on a R1000 bail.
It is alleged that on 7 September 2020, Matinise purported to be the Director of Supply Chain in the Health Provincial Office, forged a tender award letter to a service provider for Covid-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The service provider was to deliver N95 masks to the cash value of more than R23, 4 million to OR Tambo District Department of Health offices.
It is reported that the service provider submitted invoices for payment to be effected after delivering the PPE’s. The procurement committee knew nothing about the awarding of such tender. The service provider was then requested to bring the award letter. On scrutinising the letter, it was discovered that the content including signatures were fraudulent.
The complaint was lodged with the Hawks’ Serious Corruption Investigation team in East London hence his arrest on 8 July 2021. The matter was remanded to 31 August 2021 for trial.
This case forms part of many cases that have been reported to the Hawks concerning the unlawful awarding of PPE tenders ranging from R4 million to R260 million ever since the onset of Covid-19 at the beginning of 2020. This is the second arrest and more arrests are imminent.
Major General Obed Ngwenya, the Provincial Head of the Hawks once more lauded the Serious Corruption Investigation team for their zeal in handling these cases as lives were lost while people were busy with personal enrichment.