Municipal manager accused of flouting tender rules released on R20,000 bail

Ngamela Phakade was released on R20,000 bail and is to appear again on November 18. Stock photo.
Ngamela Phakade was released on R20,000 bail and is to appear again on November 18. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/Olivier Le Moal

An Eastern Cape municipal manager appeared in court on Friday in connection with R18m in unaccounted expenditure at the King Sabata Dalindyebo local municipality.

Ngamela Phakade, 50, appeared in the Mthatha serious commercial crime court on Friday and was released on R20,000 bail. He will appear in court again on November 18.

According to police, during the 2011 financial year, the Mnquma municipality planned, funded and managed road projects. The infrastructure directorate initiated a tender process for the construction and revitalisation of Butterworth township roads, with the contract awarded to the Siva Pillay joint venture.

The municipality budgeted for R18m, but under the watch of Phakade, the accounting officer, expenditure drastically increased to R36m, with an actual loss of R18m.

“In executing the aforementioned tender, the municipality had to confine themselves within the legislative framework of the 2001 Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act.

“Phakade, a former municipal manager, allowed the process to go through without doing due diligence in ensuring that the aforesaid relevant policy had been complied with.

“Despite being given legal advice by the municipal legal official not to continue with a vague specification, he allowed it to happen under his watch,” said Brig Nomthandazo Mbambo, spokesperson for the Hawks.

As the accounting officer, Phakade “deliberately and grossly failed” to take reasonable steps to implement the municipality's supply chain management policy and further failed to take all reasonable steps to prevent unauthorised and wasteful expenditure in terms of section 173(1) of the MFMA, said the Hawks.


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