Sun. May 19th, 2024

Former Brigadier General Mendis Eddy Modlane, a retired member of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), made an appearance at the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court, where he was granted bail in connection with a case involving alleged tender fraud amounting to R2.2 million.

Modlane, aged 67, was released on bail set at R10,000 during proceedings on Thursday. Mugisha Charles Mwali, a 59-year-old company director, was granted bail of R5,000, while the company Phomolo Enterprises (PTY) LTD, represented by Mwali, was released on a warning.

According to Lumka Mahanjana, the Gauteng spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Modlane faces four counts of fraud, while Mwali and the company are charged with one count of fraud.

The case dates back to 2015 when Modlane served in the joint operation headquarters division responsible for deploying soldiers both domestically and abroad. Mahanjana explained, “On November 10, 2015, the division requested the procurement of 3000 heat-resistant buffs and 3000 military goggles to prevent sickness caused by dust for various South African bases OP Cordite in Sudan at an estimated value of R2.2 million.”

Allegedly, on December 14, 2015, Modlane deceived SANDF by submitting a request to deviate from procurement processes, advocating for the appointment of Phomolo Enterprises (PTY) LTD to supply the required items. The company was subsequently invited to bid and ultimately secured the contract on February 15, 2016.

Mahanjana stated that Modlane and Mwali surrendered to the police on Wednesday and, during the court proceedings, both denied the charges through affidavits. Bail was not opposed by the State, considering the defendants’ lack of flight risk and absence of prior convictions or pending cases.

The case has been adjourned until July 17, 2024, to facilitate further investigations, with additional defendants expected to be implicated in the matter.

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