Dan Ngwenya faces R27m Covid-19 fraud case

Dan Ngwenya faces R27m Covid-19 fraud case
HAPPY-GO-LUCKY: Nkomazi municipal manager Dan Ngwenya (R) who assumed total control of his municipality's Covid-19 budget and maxed it out in two months. PICTURE BY Corridor Gazette

He is accused of not getting permission from Treasury when engaging in emergency tenders.

Nkomazi municipal manager Dan Ngwenya is under investigation for a R27 million Covid-19 budget allegedly spent by the local municipality irregularly.

He is accused of appointing himself to be the sole administrator of the R27.3 million budget.

Hawks investigators launched a search and seizure operation at the municipality’s offices in Malalane last Thursday 30 July 2020.

The Hawks said the contractors appointed was “inconsistent with the requisite procurement regulations”.

City Press in June 2020 reported how municipal officials had been shocked by Ngwenya spending the council’s R27 million between April and May 2020 without a bidding process, as is required for expenditure of amounts above R200 000 by the Municipal Finance Management Act and Treasury regulation.

On 31 March 2020, Ngwenya wrote to the Nkomazi council and asked it to allow him to control the Covid-19 funds. Despite the matter not being considered by councillors, Ngwenya went ahead to take control of and utilise the money.

Ngwenya’s spending included the hiring of water trucks for R15 million to deliver water to communities, R12 million spent on purchasing masks and sanitisers as well as loud-hailing equipment for R350 000 to spread important messages about the epidemic.

Hawks spokesman Hangwani Mulaudzi said several documents were seized at the municipal offices during Thursday’s raid “were seized from different offices and will assist in the ongoing probe”.

No arrests have been made yet.

(edited by MLM)

Send tip-offs to editor@013.co.za