Trust ordered to pay back R3m profit made from irregular tender
The high court in Makhanda (Grahamstown) has ordered four trustees of the Siegesmund Trust to pay back R3m earned in a 2014 procurement deal that was deemed to be unlawfully and irregularly awarded.
The order followed an investigation by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) into the awarding of a R59m tender to Siegesmund for the delivery and supply of computers as pupil/teacher support material by the Eastern Cape education department.
The SIU investigation revealed the goods concerned were procured unlawfully and irregularly.
In addition, the SIU uncovered evidence that a department of education official received unauthorised gratification in the form of two laptops and a cellphone in contravention of the provisions of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act.
The SIU investigation found that despite the irregularities, the Siegesmund Trust had delivered the resource material.
As result, the SIU calculated the profit earned from the procurement contract and demanded it be paid back.
The trustees agreed to pay back R3m in three instalments plus interest. The agreement was made an order of the high court last Thursday.
The SIU said it has referred the evidence pointing towards fraud and contravention of the act to the National Prosecuting Authority.
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