The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has welcomed the conviction and sentencing of a former KwaZulu-Natal education department financial manager for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) related crime.
The official, Lungelo Stewart Mhlongo, was recently handed a two-year imprisonment sentence by the Durban Specialised Commercial Crime Court for contravening the Public Administration Management Act of 2014.
The sentence was suspended for five years on condition that he is not found guilty of the same offence during the period.
Mhlongo’s conviction follows the SIU's referral to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) after uncovering evidence pointing to criminal activity during the PPE investigation.
“The referral was in line with the SIU and Special Tribunal’s Act 74 of 1996, which requires the SIU to refer evidence pointing to criminal conduct to the NPA for further action,” said SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago.
The SIU investigations found that Mhlongo had failed to inform the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education, when he had a legal duty as a public officer that he had an interest in a service provider which had secured two contracts for the supply and delivery of spray pumps to the value of R1 241 425.
The SIU was mandated through Proclamation No. R23 of 2020 to investigate the affairs of all State institutions in respect of the procurement or contracting for goods, works and services, during or in respect of the National State of Disaster, by or on behalf of State institutions.
Kganyago said Mhlongo’s conviction is a clear demonstration of cooperation by State institutions in the implementation of the SIU investigation outcomes and consequence management to recover assets and financial losses suffered by State institutions, and to prevent further losses. – SAnews.gov.za