Three Eastern Province (EP) Rugby Union employees along with two others appeared at the Port Elizabeth Magistrates Court shortly after their arrest by the Hawks Serious Commercial Crime Investigating team.
They allegedly conspired to defraud the EP Rugby Union by submitting two fraudulent invoices to the value of R457000.00, for payments of services which were never rendered to the Union.
John Scheepers (42), Kouga ANC Councillor Eldridge Februarie (48) and Bantwini Matika (51) were employees in the Union whilst Johny Oersen (37) Xoliswa Mbengu (48) were the alleged clients who submitted fictitious invoices for the work that was never rendered.
The ANC in Kouga attempted to deflect attention away from the arrest of Februarie by staging a press conference on the day he was arrested.
At this press conference they came up with a frivolous announcement of a Motion of No Confidence against Kouga Mayor Horatio Hendricks while completely ignoring the fact that Februarie, the caucus leader of the ANC in Kouga, had been arrested on fraud and money laundering charges.
“It is now crystal clear that the ANC’s press conference yesterday, during which they announced that they are tabling a motion of no confidence in the Executive Mayor of the Kouga Municipality, Horatio Hendricks, was nothing more than a smoke screen to distract from the rampant corruption within the party,” said Andrew Whitfield, the Chairperson of the Democratic Alliance in the Eastern Cape.
Preliminary investigation by the Hawks revealed that one of the invoice was claiming for sport fields in Cradock and the other one for catering services for games that never took place.
Various irregularities on the invoices were picked up upon scrutiny as there were no supporting documents submitted with these invoices which dated back in December 2019.
The suspects are expected to be back in the same court on 08 March 2021.
The Hawks Provincial Head in the Eastern Cape, Major General Mboiki Obed Ngwenya commended the team for a job well done, as corruption is a scourge in our society that needs to be uprooted.