South Africa


Police PPE corruption balloons to R8.5m as Investigating Directorate uncovers more dodgy contracts, suspects

Police PPE corruption balloons to R8.5m as Investigating Directorate uncovers more dodgy contracts, suspects
Illustrative image | SAPS logo (Wikimedia) | Adobe Stock | PNGitem

An initial probe by the National Prosecuting Authority’s Investigating Directorate into allegations of corruption surrounding the procurement of PPE for the SA Police Service revealed wasteful expenditure of R1.9-million. That was in February. Six months later, that amount has jumped to R8.5-million.

The new figures were revealed by the Investigating Directorate’s (ID’s) national spokesperson, Sindisiwe Seboka, after the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crimes Court deferred examination of the SA Police Service’s personal protective equipment (PPE) contracts and procurement of plumbing materials to 13 October 2022 to allow the defence to consult. 

The new figure for wasteful expenditure was uncovered following the ID’s initial probe.

“The matter was initially enrolled as a R1.9-million case, but has now escalated to R8.5m with two further contracts amounting to R4.1m and R2m, respectively, and a plumbing materials contract for R120,000,” Seboka said.

The cases arises from charges of corruption, theft, fraud and forgery against the former head of the police supply chain, Brigadier James Ramanjalum, and 14 others. 

They are charged with having unlawfully benefitted from the supply of latex gloves to the South African Police Service (SAPS).

Read more in Daily Maverick: “Two of 15 accused in police PPE fraud case denied bail

Following an investigation by the ID, Ramanjalum and his 14 co-accused were arrested on 7 February 2022 for allegedly enabling a supplier to unduly benefit from the procurement of latex gloves in April 2020 for the police nationally.

On Ramanjalum’s role, the State contends he is guilty of receiving unauthorised gratification and playing a significant role in the alleged PPE corruption.

Six months later, further investigations by the ID have resulted in more accused joining the original 15 in the dock. The new accused are Abigayke Essau, Prinesh Naidoo, Jane Mthembu and two companies, Impokane General Trade and Distribution and Imbobezi Enterprises. There are now 26 accused facing these charges.

Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations

“The arrests follow an investigation into the capture of the SAPS procurement and supply chain to aid front companies to score lucrative contracts and facilitate kickbacks to SAPS senior officials,” Seboka said.

Ramanjalum, Seboka added, after twice failing to be granted bail, has notified the court that he plans to apply for bail for a third time in the Commercial Crimes Court based on new facts.

Read more in Daily Maverick: “Former SAPS boss denied bail because of alleged assassination plot

Along with former national police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane and his co-accused, Ramanjalum is also implicated in an alleged fraudulent tender to supply emergency equipment to the police in 2016.

Read more in Daily Maverick: “Former police commissioner Phahlane fails to have R191m ‘blue light’ case struck off roll

The R8.5-million fraud and corruption case will be back in court on 13 October. DM


"Information pertaining to Covid-19, vaccines, how to control the spread of the virus and potential treatments is ever-changing. Under the South African Disaster Management Act Regulation 11(5)(c) it is prohibited to publish information through any medium with the intention to deceive people on government measures to address COVID-19. We are therefore disabling the comment section on this article in order to protect both the commenting member and ourselves from potential liability. Should you have additional information that you think we should know, please email [email protected]"

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted


This article is free to read.

Sign up for free or sign in to continue reading.

Unlike our competitors, we don’t force you to pay to read the news but we do need your email address to make your experience better.

Nearly there! Create a password to finish signing up with us:

Please enter your password or get a sign in link if you’ve forgotten

Open Sesame! Thanks for signing up.

We would like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick...

…but we are not going to force you to. Over 10 million users come to us each month for the news. We have not put it behind a paywall because the truth should not be a luxury.

Instead we ask our readers who can afford to contribute, even a small amount each month, to do so.

If you appreciate it and want to see us keep going then please consider contributing whatever you can.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options