South Africa

Specialised Commercial Crimes: Retired Gauteng top cop charged with corruption

A recently axed Gauteng Police Commissioner appeared in the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Wednesday with three others currently employed at the SAPS. They face charges of corruption, forgery and theft.

Former Lieutenant-General Deliwe De Lange, a former Gauteng Police Commissioner, appeared in the Specialised Commercial Crimes court in Johannesburg for allegedly unlawfully giving a tender to procure equipment for newly purchased SAPS motor vehicles with blue lights, sirens and radio equipment. She appeared alongside three other police officers, Supply Chain Manager Ramahlapi Mokwena, Head of Procurement James Ramanjalum and Deputy Commissioner in  Supply Management Lettie Napo – and another accused, Vimpie Manthatha,director of Instrumentation for Traffic Law Enforcement. According to Prosecutor Richard Chabalala, the accused are charged with forgery, uttering, theft and corruption and have robbed the public purse at the Regional Division of Gauteng of an amount of R84-million. Manthatharesponded to the division’s invitation to submit bids and quotations in 2016 for the supply of the equipment with fraudulent documents that misrepresented the tax status. Between January and April 2016, the procurement processes were overlooked in favour of Instrumentation for Traffic Law Enforcement, setting aside all organisational policies. And Mokwena and Ramanjalum allegedly failed to take the necessary steps to disqualify the respondent Manthathafor false documentation. The bid adjudication committee (BAC) of the SAPS approved the appointment of Instrumentation for Traffic Law Enforcement as the supplier of the equipment required by the SAPS. According to Gauteng NAP Spokesperson, Sandile Mantsoe, the four officers had a duty to ensure that the company was not awarded the contract to supply the equipment, but aided and abetted it in the submission of the documents. And although the company was not tax compliant and submitted fraudulent tax clearance certificates, De Lange and Napo then facilitated the placement of orders with Instrumentation and therefore misrepresented facts to the accounting officer of the SAPS and National Treasury. De Lange was forced out as Gauteng Police Commissioner with a  “golden handshake” two years before her term ended. De Lange pleaded not guilty, strongly denied the allegations and vowed to fight the charges. All accused pleaded not guilty of the charges and asked for bail. The state always says it has a strong case. Just like in the Oscar Pistorius case, the state said it had a strong case and yet bail was still granted,”said Advocate Papie Maluleke, representing De Lange. Magistrate Benita Oswell granted bail of R20,000 to De lange, Lapo and Mokwena, R15,000 for Ramanjalum and R50,000 forManthatha. Maluleke told the court that De Lange will present evidence during trial to show beyond reasonable doubt that she is innocent. DM

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