On Thursday, Chifamba was denied bail by the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crime Court. Before his formal bail hearing on allegations of theft, money laundering, corruption, and fraud, the Zimbabwean national appeared composed.
The 49-year-old and his company, Setheo Engineering, are accused of defrauding the city of R66 million. This comes after his company was awarded an R126 million contract by the city in 2015 to construct a substation in Eldorado Park.
When the company acquired the millions rand contract through a fake bank guarantee, Chifamba was a project manager, leading the city to believe they had the balance sheet to execute the project.
Chifamba stated in his affidavit that he was an abiding foreign national in the country with all necessary paperwork. Chifamba is dependant on odd electrical work, which is his only source of income, according to the affidavit.
The accused further stated that he is a father of two children and that his wife, who works in corporate and earns less than R10,000 per month, is the sole earner. His counsel also claimed that the accused could barely pay R5000 in bond.
When the prosecutor pulled out an affidavit from Home Affairs, things took a sudden turn for the accused and his counsel. Chifamba is an illegal immigrant in the country, according to the document, and his residence has also been investigated. Despite his affidavit links him to a rental house in Alberton, Ekurhuleni, it is unknown where Chifamba lives permanently.
The officer from the Ministry of Home Affairs has since been summoned to court to provide additional details and information about Chifamba. The city of Joburg has been keeping a close eye on the situation while also conducting internal investigations.
Since then, the city's Forensic and Investigation Service (GFIS) department has discovered that two city workers, Maete Thoka and Godfrey Mulaudzi, were involved in the tender's awarding. They allegedly conspired with Setheo Engineering officials to ensure that invoices were issued and paid without any physical work being done on the substation.
Other people linked to the case are expected to be apprehended soon, according to the Star.
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