Doctor Obakeng Stephen Mookeletsi and Jabu Mahlangu have been released on R10 000 bail each.

A Gauteng Health Department (GDoH) employee and a company director charged for allegedly siphoning money meant for personal protective equipment (PPE) during the Covid-19 pandemic have been released on 10 000 bail each.

Doctor Obakeng Stephen Mookeletsi and Jabu Mahlangu, the sole director of Triakon Engineering Pty (Ltd), appeared at the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crime Court on Tuesday facing charges of fraud, theft, and money laundering.

Ramaphosa proclamation

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) probed the matter following the proclamation by President Cyril Ramaphosa, authorising the unit to look into allegations of corruption and maladministration in the affairs of the Gauteng Department of Health.

The case relates to an amount of R621 000 that was paid by the Gauteng Health Department to Mahlangu’s company account.

The National Prosecuting Authority’s spokesperson (NPA) Phindi Mjonondwane, said Triakon was appointed through a quote system (RFQ) by the Health Department for the supply and delivery of various PPE during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“On 20 May 2020, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at GDoH sent an email to Triakon informing them that the orders for PPE, namely gowns, were cancelled with immediate effect as Triakon failed in delivering gowns of acceptable standards.

“The warehouse, 3G Relocations, which was subcontracted with GDoH to receive and distribute the PPEs to various hospitals in Gauteng, was also informed not to accept further deliveries from Triakon. Further investigations revealed that Mahlangu and his company had previously claimed more than R9 million but only received payments amounting to more than R4 million,” Mjonondwane said.

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Mookeletsi, an employee at Leratong Hospital, was arrested earlier this month on allegations that he went to the 3G Relocations Warehouse on 25 May 2020, to receive PPE equipment on behalf of the Gauteng Health Department.

“He has never been responsible for quality assurance at GDoH and was not authorised by GDoH to act on their behalf. Upon realising that Triakon delivered PPEs, though being informed not to do so, GDoH contacted Mahlangu, who told them that it was a donation,” Mjonondwane said.

“GDoH later received an invoice for the ‘donated’ PPEs, which was processed and paid to the Triakon company account.”

Court appearance

Mjonondwane said both Mookeletsi and Jabu Mahlangu will be back in court on 6 February 2024 as the case was postponed for further investigation.

“The prosecution of the accused is the implementation of SIU investigation outcomes and consequence management to correct any wrongdoing uncovered during investigations,” Mjonondwane said.

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