Ex-mayor Faku misses hearing

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An arrest warrant has been issued for a number of former senior Buffalo City Metro officials and directors of a private company after they failed to hand themselves over to a newly-formed Hawks task team.

ZUKISA FAKU

The team is investigating corruption in several Eastern Cape municipalities and the suspects form part of a group of nine who are the subject of a fraud and corruption investigation in BCM.

It is alleged they defrauded the metro of R15-million in a fake deal.

The suspects were supposed to appear in court on Friday.

However, instead they sent legal representatives and did not turn up themselves.

The Daily Dispatch, sister newspaper has it on good authority that former BCM mayor Zukisa Faku is among the suspects.

The fraudulent transaction is alleged to have have taken place during Faku’s tenure as mayor.

But Faku yesterday told the Dispatch she was not aware she had to appear in court.

The warrant of arrest comes after Ndodana Consulting Engineers Pty (Ltd) was paid R15-million for an allegedly fake job.

According to Hawks national spokesman Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi, BCM officials were among those who benefited from the fraudulent deal.

NCE owner Monde Webster Ndodana, 63, was granted R30000 bail by the East London Magistrate’s Court on Friday. He was the only one who handed himself in to the Hawks earlier that day.

According to the Hawks, the case has been postponed to May 2.

The Dispatch also understands that Ndodana’s wife, Mandisa Dawn Ndodana, former BCM supply chain manager Mkhuseli Ciyo, Mninawa Mketo and Pumeza Lujabe and three others are among the suspects who failed to appear in the East London Magistrate’s Court last Friday.

The warrant of arrest was issued by the East London Magistrate’s Court after the other eight failed to appear.

Mulaudzi said an agreement had been reached between the investigation team and the suspects but only one had turned up and had duly been charged.

“The warrant of arrest stems from a Hawks investigation where it is alleged the Buffalo City Municipality lost almost R15-million for services not rendered.

“It is alleged that Ndodana Consulting Engineers submitted fraudulent invoices to the municipality.

“The directors of the company and some senior officials at the municipality allegedly benefited out of the alleged fraudulent transaction.”

Mulaudzi further said the “courtesy” that had been given to the remaining suspects to hand themselves over had “virtually” disappeared.

The national head of the Hawks, Lieutenant-General Mthandazo, has now ordered that the suspects surrender themselves to the task team members to avert “further embarrassment”.

It was not clear yesterday when they had to hand themselves in.

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