The two Defensor Electronic Security Systems directors Gert van Rooyen and Claudius Peterson, along with the former HOD for the Department of Health Steven Jonkers were arrested by the Hawks on Friday morning and are facing tender fraud charges.
The state will allow the two directors from Defensor Electronic Security Systems who are facing charges of fraud relating to a contract that was awarded by the Department of Health in 2017, to attend a security expo in Dubai next month.
The former HOD for the Department of Health Steven Jonkers, 55, appeared alongside the two security company directors – Gert Renier van Rooyen, 63, and Claudius Gerald Peterson, 57, in the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court on Friday on charges of fraud, contravention of the Public Finance Management Act, contravention of the Security Act and contravention of the Private Security Industry Regulation Act 56 of 2001.
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) regional spokesperson Mojalefa Senokoatsane said the amount under investigation was in excess of R453 million.
“The former HOD, as the accounting officer, is alleged to have concluded the contract with Defensor without following the correct procurement processes.”
The accused were arrested by the Hawks on Friday.
The charges have been classified as a schedule five offence.
Jonkers is currently a deputy director general in the Office of the Premier.
During the bail application, legal representative for the accused senior advocate Willem Edeling stated that Van Rooyen intended to plead not guilty to the charges.
He indicated that Van Rooyen had no previous convictions other than a traffic fine dating back to 2006 while Peterson was issued with a speeding fine in 2003.
Edeling indicated that both Van Rooyen and Peterson wished to attend the security expo abroad from November 15-20 to “enrich their knowledge, enhance the provision of security services to their clients and update themselves on the latest innovation technology”.
“They will provide the investigating officer with the necessary travel documents, venue and hand back their passports upon their return.”
He stated that Van Rooyen was responsible for the daily operations of the company while Peterson was in charge of the administration.
He added that both Van Rooyen and Peterson were devout CRC church members who attended church religiously.
“They are both Bloemfontein residents who have deep rooted ties with the community and have close knit families. They have no intention to flee the country or evade the trial. They have families and dependants.”
Jonkers informed the court that his sons aged 22, 26 and 29 years old were financially dependent on him and still lived with him.
“Two of my children are not employed.”
He added that he was the only person who was able to fulfil his work responsibilities.
“I am the only one who can do my job. I have a clean police record and have no outstanding cases against me.”
Edeling indicated that all the accused would not interfere or intimidate any state witnesses, would comply with all bail conditions, would not destroy any evidence, commit any offence or endanger anyone’s safety.
“The accused voluntarily handed themselves over to the court.”
It was stated that all the accused earned “substantial salaries”.
Special Commercial Crimes Unit state advocate Els, did not oppose bail.
He had no objections to the accused travelling to Dubai.
Magistrate Blaauw granted van Rooyen and Peterson bail of R100,000 each while Jonkers was released on bail of R50 000.
He instructed the accused to hand in their passports to the investigating officer and not to interfere with any witnesses.
He postponed the matter until November 10 where the matter will be transferred to the specialised commercial crimes court.