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Who is Naledi Lukhope? Father and daughter arrested for PPE fraud in Eastern Cape

The arrest of Makhonzandile Lukhope and his daughter Naledi Lukhope in connection with personal protective equipment (PPE) tender fraud was welcomed by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) on Thursday.

The Hawks arrested them on Wednesday on charges of R4.3 million in fraud, forgery, and uttering in relation to PPE tenders awarded by the Eastern Cape Department of Education under the company names Amabongwe Building and Civil Contractors CC and Tsunami Civils.

Makhonzandile and his daughter appeared in Zwelitsha magistrate’s court, where Makhonzandile was released on R4,000 bail and his daughter on R2,000 bail.

The case has been rescheduled for August 19 and has been assigned to the East London Regional Court.

“The arrests follow an SIU investigation authorised by proclamation R23 of 2020 by President Cyril Ramaphosa to investigate allegations of corruption, maladministration, malpractice and payments made by state institutions relating to PPE procurement together with the conduct of state employees,” the SIU said.

The SIU said its investigation revealed that the father, through his company Amabongwe, allegedly committed fraud by misrepresentation and with an intention to defraud the department.

He allegedly unlawfully submitted a contract of lease which had the effect of misrepresenting that Amabongwe was operational in the Eastern Cape and had a business in the province. This led to the provincial education department awarding a RI.9m contract to Amabongwe.

“Mr Lukhope also failed to disclose interest in Tsunami Civils, which belongs to his daughter, Miss Lukhope.”

The SIU investigation also revealed that Naledi Lukhope, through her company Tsunami Civils, allegedly misrepresented and defrauded the provincial education department.

The SIU said through the alleged deceit, her company received a payment of R2.4m.

The SIU said all tenders awarded to the Lukhopes were restricted to businesses operating in the Eastern Cape.

“In line with the Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunals Act, the SIU referred evidence pointing to criminal conduct that was uncovered during the investigation to the attention of the National Prosecuting Authority for further action,” SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said. – TimesLIVE