The Hawks have arrested another former senior official from the King Sabatha Dalindyebo Local Municipality in the Eastern Cape in connection with a tender to refurbish roads in Butterworth.

Zanemvula Ngovela is charged with an alleged contravention of the Municipal Finance Management Act. This relates to a multi-million rand road construction project dating back to 2011 in the Mnquma Local Municipality. The project was meant to cost R18 million, but due to interference by the officials, it doubled to R36 million.

This is the second arrest in one month in connection with the multi-million and road construction project. Two other suspects are the sole directors of a company that was awarded the tender to construct roads in Butterworth townships.

The trio, Zanemvula Ngovela, Soundrarajan Pillay, and Kubeshin Pillay, were charged at the Central Police Station in Mthatha.

The Hawks Provincial Spokesperson, Yolisa Mgolodela, says the crimes were committed while Ngovela worked at the Mnquma Local Municipality in 2011.

“The former Director for Infrastructure Development of Mnquma Municipality is being charged for allegations of contravention of the Municipal Finance Management Act which is connected to a tender in 2011 where the roads for Butterworth townships were being revitalized and some constructed. The tender was supposed to be for R18 million, but it ended up going up to R36 million. The reason being that the specification that was brought forward by the company that won the tender was vague. Then today that is why he is appearing in Mthatha High Court so that he can apply for bail.”

Earlier this month, KSD Municipal Manager, Ngamela Pakade, was arrested by the Hawks. He appeared at the Mthatha Commercial Crimes Court and was released on R20 000 bail.

Both Ngamela Pakade and Zanemvula Ngovela worked at Mnquma Local Municipality when the crimes were allegedly committed.

Mgolodela says the other two suspects, Soundrarajan Pillay and Kubeshin Pillay, as well as their company Siva Pillay Construction are from KwaZulu-Natal and are facing charges of fraud.

“We also have the service providers that won the tender. In fact, the companies merged together and formed one company from KZN. So, the sole directors are also here in order to be charged for fraud. What they are alleged to have done is to bring the invalid tax certificates and also certificates from the construction board, purporting that they did have the experience of building the roads. So that is why they are here for fraud.”

The trio has appeared in the Mthatha Commercial Crimes Court and was released on R10 000 bail each. They will appear again in court on 18 January next year.