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. 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.
It is alleged that Mnquma Local Municipality issued a tender in Agust 2013 for street surfacing at Ngqamakwe town. The municipal officials and the project manager allegedly signed off payment certificates to the four companies for services that were not rendered. At that time, the municipality lost more than R9.1 million. The Hawks investigation revealed a R982 000 over expenditure on the part of the project.
Two other suspects who benefited illegally from the tender 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 at Butterworth Magistrate Court on 02 November 2020. Investigations are continuing.