Three face R9,2m fraud charges

Alfred Moselakgomo

Alfred Moselakgomo

The Scorpions yesterday arrested three people for allegedly defrauding the Free State health department of more than R9million.

NPA spokesman Tlali Tlali said Ann Voster, Nicholaas van Zyl Vermaak and Benjamin de Winnaar were arrested in connection with fraud, corruption and money laundering to the tune of about R9,2million.

"The office of the Auditor General identified some areas of concern relating to procurement processes in the Free State health department and recommended that an investigation be initiated," said Tlali.

He said an investigation was authorised in terms of the NPA Act to look into allegations of complicity on the part of the accused persons.

The period investigated was from April 2002 to December 2004.

"The state will allege and produce evidence to corroborate claims that Voster colluded with Vermaak and De Winnaar, both of whom were employees of the department, by manipulating procurement and tender procedures," said Tlali.

"Their modus operandi involved the use of a company, camouflaged as three independent business entities, when bidding for tenders to supply the department with Information Technology equipment," he said.

"The accused face a total of 396 counts of fraud, six counts of corruption and one count of money laundering."

Tlali said the investigations were continuing and more arrests were expected soon.

The three appeared before the Bloemfontein district court yesterday and were granted bail of R10000 each.

The case was postponed to a provisional date of March 11 in order to transfer it to the regional court.