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Ex-Northern Cape health boss Dion Theys back in court for a second PPE fraud case

Ex-Northern Cape health boss Dion Theys back in court for a second PPE fraud case
Former acting head of the Northern Cape health department Dion Theys in 2012. (Photo: Gallo Images / Foto24 / Emile Hendricks)

Former Northern Cape health department head Dion Theys has appeared in court in another R26.9-million personal protective equipment-related case. He is on R5,000 bail in a separate case in which he is charged with fraud, corruption and money laundering in connection with a R16-million PPE procurement.

On Wednesday, Theys (56) and the department’s former chief financial officer, Mosimanegape Gaborone (54), appeared in the Kimberley District Court, along with 11 co-accused, in the latest PPE tender case.

In March 2022, Theys and Gaborone were suspended after being implicated in fraud and corruption relating to the tender. The Northern Cape health department has been without a permanent head since July 2020.

The co-accused are: Director of supply chain management Montgomery Lifa Faas (49); deputy director of finance Victor Nyokong (39); director: administration assistant of supply chain management Siyabulela Booi (38); retired deputy director of the nursing directorate: communicable diseases Elizabeth Dibueng Manyetsa (63); assistant director of the directorate: communicable diseases Goitsemodimo Piet Moseki (50); Macronym 37 (Pty) Ltd; Macronym director Christopher Somandla Sibisi (40); Cleopatra Norman, an administrative clerk at Macronym 37; Macronym employee Macdonald Mampe (62); Masedi Star (Pty) Ltd, a private company with limited liability; and Masedi Star director Obakeng Samane (40).

They are facing charges of contravention of provisions of Section 86(1) of the Public Finance Management Act, fraud, corruption, forgery, money laundering, uttering and defeating or obstructing the course of justice.

The case relates to a PPE contract that was irregularly awarded to Macronym 37 by the department between 11 March and 6 August 2020 without following normal procurement processes.

The case forms part of a Special Investigating Unit report which revealed that unlawful processes in the procurement of Covid-19 equipment in the Northern Cape cost many millions of rands.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Special Investigating Unit uncovers multimillion-rand Covid-related corruption in Northern Cape

The case was identified by the premier’s office based on matters highlighted by the provincial treasury. In June 2020, the Northern Cape health department made an award to the value of R26,960,025 (including VAT) for:

  • Coveralls – R12,443,500 (excluding VAT);
  • Disposable surgical masks – R3,000,000 (excluding VAT); and
  • N95 masks – R8,000,000 (excluding VAT).

A report by the Public Protector, released on 30 September 2022, also probed allegations of improper conduct and maladministration relating to the procurement of goods and the awarding of a contract to Macronym 37 by the Northern Cape health department.

According to Northern Cape National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Mojalefa Senokoatsane, eight of the accused were granted bail of R10,000 and three were granted bail of R2,000, with conditions. 

The conditions are that the accused must hand over their passports to authorities and refrain from intimidating or interfering with witnesses. The Kimberley District Court has rescheduled the case for 29 January 2024.

Senokoatsane added that the NPA’s Asset Forfeiture Unit was granted a Preservation of Property Order by the Northern Cape Division of the High Court, against the assets of Sibisi, Macronym and Aphiwokuhle Holdings.

“The said preservation order is in respect of Erf 15017, Kimberley, also known as 9 Tiber Street, Royldene, Kimberley, which Sibisi bought for an amount of over R900,000, Erf 10376 also known as Live Café, bought for over R2-million, a 2013 model Audi A1 car with registration numbers and letters KW 31BP GP, which he bought for an amount of R130,000, and kitchen equipment bought for over R300,000, delivered and installed at Live Café.

“All the property and the vehicle were allegedly bought with the proceeds of the money received from the Northern Cape Department of Health.”

These assets, Senokoatsane explained, will be preserved awaiting an application by the unit for the final forfeiture to the State.

Theys, Gaborone, Lifa Faas, Nyokong, Booi, Manyetsa and Moseki are out on bail in connection with the R16-million PPE-related matter.

This case against Theys and Gaborone was provisionally withdrawn on 8 December 2022. This matter is back on the roll following a concentrated multidisciplinary investigation by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation and the Special Investigating Unit, working closely with the NPA’s Specialised Commercial Crimes Unit and the Asset Forfeiture Unit.

Theys and his co-accused will be back in the Kimberley District Court for this matter on 16 October 2023. DM


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