Nine senior police officers and three civilians accused of colluding to issue a tender to install 1 550 police motor vehicles with warning lights, known as blue lights, at a grossly inflated price will return to court next month.
Yesterday, Deputy National Police Commissioner Bonang Mgwenya was arrested in connection with the case.
She appeared before the Palm Ridge Magistrate Court and was released on R20 000 bail.
The company that won the 2017 deal, represented by its sole director Vimphie Mantatha, is also listed as a respondent in the case, bringing the total number of suspects to 13.
The state alleges that during the procurement process, the accused disregarded the competitive bidding process; committing SAPS to R191 million in favour of Manthatha’s company in exchange for benefits.
“The tap was turned off after R65 million was paid to the service provider, ‘Instrumentation for Traffic Law Enforcement (Pty) Ltd. Payment of the remaining R22 million was stopped as a direct result of the work of IPID investigators working with SAPS and the Hawks investigators under the leadership of the Investigating Directorate,” says the NPA’s Investigating Directorate.
The 13 accused face charges of corruption, fraud and money laundering.
“IPID remains committed in its constitutional mandate of investigating any alleged police misconduct, once more our seasoned investigators have done a commendable job’’ IPID Executive Director Jennifer Ntlatseng has said.
National Police Commissioner Kehla Sitole has thrown his weight behind the investigating teams.
“My position regarding criminality by members within the ranks of the SAPS has been made clear by the arrest of a multitude of SAPS members by a task team reporting to me on investigations into vehicle-marking-tender fraud as well as our support to the ID in respect of the blue-light-tender fraud investigation,” says Sitole.
Former acting National Police Commissioner, Khomotso Phahlane and former Gauteng Provincial Police Commissioner Deliwe de Lange are among the accused in the blue lights matter.
Their trial is set down for the 16th of November to the 10th of December.