North West businessman ordered to pay back over R7 million earned fraudualently in school transport deal
The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) welcomes the Special Tribunal’s judgment that orders RI Mako Trading and Projects, and its director, Remosetlha Isaac Mako, to pay back inflated school transport money for transporting children attending rural schools in the Dr. Ruth Sekgomotsi Mompati District, North West Province.
On Thursday, 20 October 2022, the Special Tribunal ordered RI Mako Trading to pay back R7 479 648.44 it unlawfully gained from the North West Department of Community Safety & Transport Management and pay for the SIU’s legal costs.
The judgment comes after the SIU investigations which revealed that RI Mako Trading submitted invoices to the Department of Public Works Roads and Transport for the period 2010 to 2017 that have inflated kilometres and have unduly enriched themselves through the submission of inflated kilometres. Although Mr. Mako denied allegations against him and his company, he did not dispute that he inflated the kilometres travelled as claimed and contended that they claimed for kilometres as verified by the Department and were paid based on their invoices as approved by the Department.
The SIU was authorised to investigate by President of the Republic under Proclamation R.2 of 2018, following widespread allegations of irregularities concerning the appointment and overpayment of service providers contracted in terms of the scholar transport tender.
The Special Tribunal order is a continuation of implementation of the SIU investigations outcomes and consequence management to recover monies lost by the Department of Community Safety & Transport Management in North West. There are other cases enrolled in the in the Special Tribunal awaiting adjudication and will result in recoveries for the department.
The SIU is empowered to institute civil action in the High Court or a Special Tribunal in its name, to correct any wrongdoing uncovered during both investigations caused by acts of corruption, fraud, or maladministration. In line with the Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunals Act 74 of 1996, the SIU will refer any evidence pointing to criminal conduct it uncovers to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for further action.
Source: Government of South Africa