Tebogo Msimanga |
North West High Court postponed the case against Tebogo Van Wyk (40), Nothando Dube (44), Sipho Levy Phiri (39) Thabang Mohlokoleng (54) and three companies, Batsamai Investment Holdings, Sevilex Investment Holdings and Lavao, Estevao (PTY) Ltd, to 14 August 2023, for legal representation and pre-trial conferencing.
The case follows their arrest by the North West Hawks Serious Corruption Investigation in September 2022, on 34 counts including fraud, corruption, money laundering and contravention of the Public Finance Management Act.
North West National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Henry Mamothame said the state intends requesting for an alteration on the indictment, which subsequently led to Van Wyk, Dube and Phiri’s attorney requesting a postponement to engage with further particulars relating to the indictment. Meanwhile, Mohlokoleng has registered his intention to make representations for the charges against him to be dropped.
Van Wyk was granted R500 000 bail, R35 000 for Dube, R150 000 for Phiri and R50 000 for Mohlokoleng. Their bail conditions are that they should not evade court on the next appearance, refrain from interfering with witnesses, and inform the investigating officer should they wish to leave their area of residence.
Mamothame said the investigations revealed that in 2014, the North West government embarked on a process to reintroduce commercial aircraft to the province’s two airports, Mahikeng and Pilanesberg, on a subsidy estimated at R400 million. “The amount of R183 million was then paid to SA Express between 2015 and 2017 for the services rendered by the ground management companies, which Van Wyk, Dube and Phiri are linked to. The state alleges that of the R83 million, an amount of R51 million was channelled irregularly through the charged companies”.
The North West government allegedly appointed SA Express as a service provider, to render the service but this was done without following the proper supply chain management processes. The irregularly secured agreement is said to have been signed by the four accused.