The four current and former senior Eastern Cape education officials and a businessman charged with fraud, corruption and theft will be on trial again on July 8th.
The five defendants will be charged on Monday appeared shortly before the County Court of East London on charges of corruption, fraud, attempted fraud, theft and violation of the Public Finance Management Act.
The accused are:
- Noxolo Valencia Gwarube , Former Chief Training Specialist in the Learning Materials Department (LTSM);
- Mthunywa Lawrence Ngonzo, former General Superintendent and Head of Department until the end of June 2014;
- Raymond Tywakadi, Acting Secretary General and Head of Department from July 1, 2014 and currently Deputy Director General;
- Tyronne Fourie, currently Deputy Director of IT Support; and
- Johannes Hermanus Bouwer Smith, a trustee and agent for the Siegesmund Trust, an IT equipment supplier for the Provincial Education Department.
National Law Enforcement Agency (NPA) spokesman Sipho Ngwema said it was alleged that Gwarube, Ngonzo and Fourie decided that the LTSM unit would have additional resource material, particularly IT, in fiscal 2014-2015 and including photocopiers, even though it was not budgeted.
It was previously obtained from individual schools.
“It is further alleged that they did this under the pretext that schools were adequately stocked with textbooks. Internally, the message was that 80% of the textbook budget would be postponed and used to procure SRM. “
” In general, any shift of funds within the department’s budget would have required a report from the National Treasury Department for the shift of funds to be used. The defendant never, in fact, intended to formalize the shifting of funds in view of the National Treasury Trial. “
Gwarube, who was in charge of the project, never requested the budget to be postponed. Ngonzo, the then general secretary, was aware of the budget breakdown but was unable to ratify the intended budget breakdown and nothing was reported to the Treasury Department, claimed Ngwema.
Siegesmund supplied 59 worth of IT equipment R million, and Fourie signed off the request as if it were for books to access the book budget. None of the procurement protocols were allegedly followed to designate the company as a supplier.
They were not registered in the Eastern Cape Education Department’s database of registered suppliers and had very little or no experience or expertise in the delivery IT goods and services, according to the court.
“It is believed that a generally corrupt relationship developed that led Gwarube to accept” gifts “such as 26 laptops, two of which were for personal gain. a mobile phone for personal benefit and; an agreement to accept payment of R120,486 from the Border Conference Center to an account under the control of Spectra, an account owned by Siegesmund. “
The matter has been postponed so that copies of the document can be submitted and Tywakadi’s legal representative confirmed.