South Africa: Former GP Health Officials in Court for R1.2 Billion Corruption, but Brian Hlongwa Off the Hook, for Now

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Four former Gauteng health officials facing charges of fraud and corruption worth R1.2-billion were granted bail in the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crime Court on Thursday, but former MEC Brian Hlongwa, allegedly central to the scheme, was missing. Further arrests are expected.

In September 2009, former Gauteng health MEC Brian Hlongwa and his wife hired a limousine to get a luxury spa treatment. The day was allegedly paid for by a small company that had benefited handsomely from contracts with the provincial health department - 3P Consulting.

Four former Gauteng health department employees have finally appeared in court for their alleged corrupt relationship with 3P Consulting, and a host of related companies, which in 2007 are alleged to have orchestrated and irregularly received contracts worth R1.2-billion while brazenly paying kickbacks.

Former department head Sybil Ngcobo, former ICT director Mmakgosi Mosupi, former supply chain director Valdis Romaano and former executive support programme management director Obakeng Mookeletsi were granted bail in the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crime Court on Thursday, 22 October.

They face charges of fraud, corruption, money laundering and contravention of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA).

Hlongwa, who resigned as the ANC's chief whip in the provincial legislature in...

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