IT Tender Fraud: Veloro Davids, Nilesh Singh, Andrew Mphusomadi Jailed

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The Pretoria Commercial Crime Court has sentenced businessman Veloro Davids and former Ekurhuleni employees Nilesh Singh and Andrew Mphusomadi collectively to 36 years direct imprisonment for their involvement in a corrupt IT tender.

David received 10 years for fraud, 15 years for corruption and Singh was sentenced to 10 years for fraud plus 15 years for corruption.

The magistrate ordered that the sentences run concurrently

Mphushomadi, former IT senior manager at Ekurhuleni, was given a 10-year prison sentence for money laundering, of which four years were  suspended.

Meropa Sechabeng Technology CC represented by David and Nanga Transport CC represented by Princess Makhosazana Ndlongolo were each fined R600 000, wholly suspended for five years.

This is after they were convicted of fraud, corruption and possession of proceeds of unlawful activities.

The court heard that on 21 September 2007 EMM advertised a contract for the supply, delivery, installation, configuration, implementation, commissioning, and maintenance of computer and computer auxilliary components on an “as-and-when-required” basis for one year.

Meropa, which was only registered on 15 June 2007, was granted the tender of R21million on 7 April 2008, 10 months after its existence.

Moreover, David declared in his bid documents that he had no relations with persons involved with the evaluation and adjudication of the bid.

However, David and Singh are related through marriage.

Singh was involved with Meropa while David and Mphushomadi had a business relationship.

The majority of invoices for payment to Meropa were approved by Singh. Nanga then purchased three Mercedes Benz Axor trucks worth more than R3 million with the money paid by EMM, while Meropa purchased 16 vehicles worth more than R8 million.

On 18 February 2022 the NPA’s Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) obtained a confiscation order against these ill-gotten assets.

The order for final forfeiture is being executed by a curator to have the proceeds paid back to the EMM.

Prosecutor, Advocate Willem Van Zyl said the accused all pleaded not guilty to the charges.

On Wednesday, the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) said the government welcomes the sentencing of Davids, Singh and Mphusomadi.

Minister in The Presidency, Mondli Gungubele, said: “This ruling serves as a deterrent to any persons involved in any form of corruption.

“The sentencing is a testament to President Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address, which emphasised that the government, guided by the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS), will take decisive steps to expose and punish corrupt activities and reform institutions to make them stronger and more transparent.

“Fighting corruption and promoting good governance is a fundamental priority of this administration.”

Public servants must be resolute in stamping out corruption, and in creating a culture of service delivery and excellence.

“There is a lot of work being done by government and its partners to fight this scourge, and we are confident that we will see more convictions in corruption related cases,” said Gungubele.

We applaud the Special Investigative Unit and the judicial system for their sterling work.”

The GCIS said the government will not be deterred in its effort to break the cycle of corruption and build a better tomorrow, as it is one of the greatest impediments to the country’s growth and development.

In delivering the sentence the magistrate said fraud, theft and corruption have devastating effects on the country and threaten our constitutional order, and courts need to deal firmly with it.

The success of the fight against corruption depends on the involvement of all citizens.

However, all three have requested leave to appeal. The convicted fraudsters’ application for leave to appeal will be heard in court on 26 May 2022.

Minister Gungubele said: “As a society we must not allow corruption to take place. It is up to each one of us to act with integrity at all times, and to be responsible and honest.

“We are making progress in addressing corruption in the country. By working together, we can ensure that those who are corrupt have no place to hide.”

Report fraud and corruption activities to the SIU on the hotline: 0800 037 774 or email siu@hotline.co.za

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