Nala Municipality manager arrested for security tender fraud_1

The Hawks (Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation) have confirmed the arrest of Buti Piet Molupi, the head of the Nala Municipality in the Free State.

Nala Municipality fraud: Molupi accused of graft in tender scam

In a statement, police spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi revealed that an operation was launched on Wednesday to nab Molupi for his involvement in the irregular appointment of Zero Tolerance, a security company.

It is believed that Molupi, along with four senior government officials (Robert Tsupa, 46, Abraham Moratwe Mofokeng, 47, Mabidikwana Wilfred Matjele, 61, Nkgaudise Nelson Molefe, 39) and the director of Zero Tolerance Warnic Montsitsi, colluded in a shoddy tender deal worth R700 000.

“Seized documents revealed that Zero Tolerance was at some stage appointed by Dihlabeng local municipality to render similar services as well. The appointment was declared unlawful by the High Court in Bloemfontein after a rival entity successfully challenged it.
“The tender was then set aside. Despite this, in 2016 Tsupa, as the Maluti-a-Phofung municipal manager, allegedly undeservedly appointed Zero Tolerance to run the protection and security services for the municipality using the same contract that was declared unlawful and set aside by the High Court,” Mulaudzi revealed.

The Hawks confidently claimed that there is enough forensic evidence to prove that Molupi contravened Section 173 of Municipal Finance Management Act.

“Prior to the arrests, the investigation team seized documents and electronic equipment for analysis to assist with further investigations. The group allegedly conspired and colluded during October 2016 and awarded company Zero Tolerance a tender to provide protection and security services to the municipalities without following the correct supply chain management processes in terms of Municipal Finance Management Act,” the Hawks explained.

Molupi appeared before the Bothaville Magistrate’s court and was granted R5 000 bail. The case has been postponed “to 21 May 2020 for a Serious Commercial Court date.”

Tsupa, a former municipal manager; Mofokeng. the municipality’s chief financial officer; Matjele, the director of public safety; and Molefe the manager at supply chain department within the municipality, are also currently out on R10 000 bail.

“The municipality reportedly lost almost R700 000 as a result of an alleged irregular, wasteful and fruitless expenditure,” Mulaudzi revealed.