Pretoria: The Department of Public Works has launched a civil action case against well-known Johannesburg landlord Sayed Hoosen Mia and two former department employees in a bid to recoup the proceedings of an R8 million scam.
The department claimed in papers in the Johannesburg High Court that the property owner Mia and former Public Works officials, Desmond Simamane and Thabo Moagi, collaborated to defraud government in an elaborated lease scheme in 2008.
At the time, Moagi and Simamane were employees at the Department of Public Works’ Johannesburg Regional Office. Moagi was dismissed after an internal disciplinary in 2012.
Simamane resigned on the first day of the disciplinary hearing.
Simamane and Mia are currently facing criminal charges at the Johannesburg Regional Court arising from their alleged shady dealings.
In court papers, the department claimed that Simamane and Moagi secured lease tenders for Mia’s companies and personally benefitted from their dealings by receiving funds and luxury cars worth more than R250 000.
The department further claimed that about R635 000 was deposited into Simamane’s personal account and his soccer club Island Football Club.
Through the illicit collaboration of the three, the department suffered a total loss of about R8 million.
In response, Mia refuted claims that he had made fraudulent payments to Moagi and Simamane.
Moagi has not yet filed papers and Simamane denied that he had received kickbacks from Mia’s companies.
Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi’s Legal Advisor, Phillip Masilo, said the legal action showed that the department was serious about implementing anti-fraud and anti-corruption measures to transform the department.
“While we cannot comment on the merits of the case, Minister Nxesi has stated on several public platforms that corruption would be fought at all levels.
“To this end, no efforts will be spared to devote resources to transform the Department to an efficient and corruption-free service delivery tool,” Masilo said.