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Two tender fraud accused get bail

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The charges relate to the flouting of tender procedures for tenders that were awarded

Archibald Seboko (left) and Fako Jim Khanoka.

TWO OF the six accused implicated in a R11 million fraud and corruption case involving the procurement of medical equipment for the Northern Cape Department of Health, were released on bail of
R50 000 each in the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court on Friday.

The accused – Victor Nyokong, Lebogang Lefifi, Walter Senoko, Nthabiseng Magano, Archibald Seboko and Fako Jim Khanoka – were arrested during an operation that was conducted by the Hawks in Bloemfontein, Kimberley and Johannesburg last Monday.

Nyokong, who is a former deputy director in the finance administration of the Northern Cape Department of Health, Lefifi, Senoko and Magano were released on R50 000 bail each earlier last week, while Seboko and Khanoka on Friday received bail after securing legal aid.

The charges relate to the flouting of tender procedures for tenders that were awarded to Khutso Medical, WS Alcari, WTSO, Gopolong Medical Supplies (Pty) Ltd, Kenfa Holdings (Pty) Ltd and Kapa Bophelo Medical Health Solutions between 2013 and 2016.

While the senior State advocate, from the National Prosecuting Authority, Brian Mdlalose, pointed to Nyokong as the man “who made everything possible”, it emerged on Friday that Seboko and Khanoka were directors of Gopolong Medical Supplies (Pty) Ltd, Kenfa Holdings (Pty) Ltd and Kapa Bophelo Medical Health Solutions.

It is alleged that the same group of companies, of which Seboko and Khanoka were apparently directors, would conspire amongst themselves to enable one of the companies to be awarded the tender by submitting a lower price, where the “competing” companies would tender a higher bid.

The companies would apparently rotate their tender bids, while they did not declare any conflict of interests even though the companies shared signing powers and directors.

While Seboko and Khanoka on Friday pleaded “poverty” and said that they had no “notable” assets and could only afford R15 000 bail each, the State indicated that the two were allegedly involved in receiving more than R6 million from the Department of Health during the awarding of tenders and that setting bail at less than R50 000 each would be “unfair” and “not in the interests of justice”.

Magistrate Danie Schneiders agreed, saying that the charges levelled against the two accused were of a “more serious nature” than those against the other accused, who were granted bail of R50 000 each.

Schneider said that the main concern in the matter was that the two accused were implicated in more charges, involving higher amounts than the rest of the accused, and that he could not set bail at a lesser amount than for the other accused.

He then granted Seboko and Khanako bail of
R50 000 each, with strict bail conditions attached, and they were warned to appear in court with the four other accused next month.