Former metro official Sox guilty of fraud

Court finds he manipulated tender process

After 50 court appearances, disgraced municipal official Sox Nkanjeni has finally been convicted of fraud, after a court found that he manipulated a R200 000 tender process to give one company an unfair advantage.

Describing Nkanjeni yesterday as someone who basks in the glow of self-importance, magistrate Louis Claassen said the testimony of the 19 state witnesses fitted like a glove.

Nkanjeni, 49, was suspended from his position as Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality assistant supply chain management director shortly after the allegations came to light.

It was found that he conspired with businessman and former Nafcoc regional president Mnyamezeli Dyala, 57, to ensure his company, Trade Lane Brokerage CC, was awarded the contract advertised by the municipality in March 2010.

The tender related to the supply and erection of fencing material. Nkanjeni was fired from his position in October.

While state advocate Ulrike de Klerk called 19 witnesses, Nkanjeni testified in his own defence and Dyala elected not to take the stand.

Neither of the accused called any witnesses.

In a Port Elizabeth Commercial Crimes Court sitting in Hankey yesterday, Claassen accepted the state’s version that Nkanjeni studied all the tender applications and then edited the price schedule of Trade Lane Brokerage to ensure its prices were a couple of rands cheaper than its competitors.

In addition, and to help Dyala’s application, he supplemented details where they were missing, and failed to allocate points due to the competing companies.

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