By Staff Reporter
QWAQWA- Former Free State Head of department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, now HOD of Education, Advocate Tsoarelo Malakoane (56), is facing charges of fraud, theft and contravention of the Public Financial Act alongside Lebogang Sebeela (47), the then director of supply chain management.
The pair have been released on bail of R20 000 each and are expected to be back on November 11 2022.
Their co-accused former municipal mangers of Lejweleputswa district municipality Nontsikelelo Eunice Aaron (55) and Monyane Mattews Sefantse (53) who is now municipal manager at Nketoana are also out on bail of R20 000 each.
The company directors whose companies were improperly awarded tenders without following procurement process, Lodewikus Celliers (80) and Sithiwe Thubane (47) were granted bail of R3 000 and R10 000 respectively.
The six appeared in Welkom magistrate on Wednesday, a day after their arrest on Tuesday in the Free State towns of Bloemfontein, Welkom and Thaba Nchu, as well as in Pretoria, Gauteng, following intensive investigations by the Hawks. It is alleged that working together, the officials misused funds allocated to furbish the late Winnie Mandela’s house at Brandfort into a museum. They allegedly awarded two directors tenders without following procurement processes and as a result the department lost more than R700 000.
Spokesperson for Hawks in Free State, Captain Christopher Singo, said it is alleged that during the period of January 2008 until December 2010, money was allocated to the Brandfort Museum project, popularly known as the Winnie Mandela Museum, by the department of sports, arts and culture.
He said instead the money was misused and the service providers were appointed without following the proper procurement processes. The project was coordinated by the department and the Lejweleputswa district municipality.