Criminals always try getting away from justice. But the long arm of the law is a patient one and the tables can change at anytime.
Former department of health employee Ayanda Matinise might have been declared dead but th courts are not convinced.
Matinise was charged with Covid-19 PPE tender fraud and an arrest warrant has been issued.
Matinise, 35, missed his court appearance in the Mthatha specialised commercial crimes court on Tuesday and acting magistrate Shylock Ndengezi said if he was not in court on the next date, he would be arrested.
The state applied for an immediate warrant of arrest.
Matinise is charged with fraud, forgery and uttering, relating to a provincial health department personal protective equipment tender worth more than R23m. Matinise was arrested in July by the Hawks after he was implicated by the Special Investigating Unit in the alleged PPE fraud.
Hawks spokesperson Capt Yolisa Mgolodela said Matinise, allegedly purporting to be the director of supply chain, forged a tender award letter to a service provider for Covid-19 PPE to deliver R23.4m worth of N95 masks.
No payment was made as the procurement committee allegedly knew nothing about the awarding of the tender.
Matinise, a former messenger in the office of the health MEC, was due in court on Tuesday, but when his case was called, his attorney, Luvuyo Mngunyana, said Matinise was on his way. The court took a short adjournment but he did not arrive.
Senior state prosecutor advocate Mthuthuzeli Rangula moved for a warrant of arrest to be issued. “There is no valid reason he is not before court – no sick note or anything.”
But Mngunyama said: “He called me on the way to court and informed me that he is bereaved. A very close guardian has just passed away and he promised to e-mail me the death certificate today.”
The case was postponed on August 31 when Matinise changed legal representation.
He is on R1,000 bail and has a pending case for theft of a state vehicle and for breaching lockdown regulations.
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