By Mbulelo Sisulu
Acting City Manager of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality, Mvuleni Mafu, and Bulelwa Eunice Ntanga Mkwakwi, a local businesswoman, were respectively granted bail of R20 000 by the Port Elizabeth Magistrate Court on August 21.
In terms of their bail conditions, they will be under 24 hour house arrest; they are not allowed to appear in any Nelson Mandela municipal buildings for 30 days from today; and must not interfere with witnesses or investigation.
The two appeared on allegations of fraud and corruption which involved about R14 million. Their matter has been postponed to November 3, 2020.
Eastern Cape Division Regional spokesperson Anelisa Ngcakani said it is alleged that Mapu and Ntanga Mkwakwi had a corrupt relationship during 2014.
“Mapu allegedly accepted a R900 000 bribe from her in exchange for awarding her business with a R12.8 million tender,” she said.
Mapu was the Director of the municipality’s housing department in 2014, while Ntanga Mkwakwi is the sole owner of Jeke and Qadi Trading cc.
The Eastern Cape Department of Human Settlements funded several RDP housing projects in Port Elizabeth. The municipality was the developer for these projections and potential contractors were required by the municipality to be registered on its database. Ntanga Mkwakwi registered her business during March 2012
An allocations committee, chaired by Mapu, was responsible for allocating work to contractors registered under the data-base. It convened during February 2014 and recommended the allocation of contracts to several contractors which included Jeke and Qabi Trading. Consequently, during March 2014, the company was awarded a R12.8 million contract for an RDP construction project in Port Elizabeth.
Evidence reveals that during January 2014, prior to the awarding of this contract, Ntanga-Mkwakwi transferred R900 000 from her bank account into an Allan Gray platform account which bore an account reference in favour of Mapu.
Mapu and Ntanga-Mkwakwi have been charged with corruption because Mapu, while being in public office, allegedly accepted a bribe of R900 000 from Ntanga-Mkwakwi in exchange for him to abuse his position of authority to ensure that Jeke and Qabi Trading was awarded the R12.8 million contract. Ntanga-Mkwakwi on the other hand has been charged as she allegedly bribed a public official.
Mapu and Ntanga-Mkwakwi have been charged with fraud as they allegedly contravened the municipality’s Supply Chain Management Act. Mapu, in his capacity as the chairperson of the allocations committee, failed to disclose the financial interests and benefits he allegedly received from Jeke and Qabi Trading. Ntanga-Mkwakwi is accused of fraud as she allegedly failed to reveal that her company granted Mapu the R900 000 reward.