The East London Regional Court convicted Bathandwa Bazukile Ndyamara (35), owner of a travel agency, on May 9 on charges of fraud.
After a series of court appearances, he was found guilty of fraud and will be sentenced on June 24, 2022.
Spokesperson for Hawks, Captain Yolisa Mgolodela, said during July 2019 the complainant had a travel agency called Siyawela Travelling.
She said the company was registered in the Basic Accounting System (BAS) of the Department of Education, which is used to pay suppliers.
“The complainant received requests for quotations via e-mail. The quotations requested were purported to have been requested by the Department of Education in Zwelitsha,” said Mgolodela.
She added that the complainant was directed to source quotations from Royal Lodge, which is reported to be in Komani (Queenstown), Bay Lodge in Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth) and Fairview Lodge in Mthatha.
Mgolodela said the complainant requested quotations from the respective lodges and paid more than R2 million as an endeavour to secure accommodation for the leaners and educators who were reported to have been attending a workshop.
“The complainant submitted invoices to the Department of Education and it was not paid because the department detected that the request for quotes was a scam as the department had already paid for the same order numbers.”
According to her, the matter was reported to the East London based Hawk’s Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team for probing which resulted in the arrest of Ndyamara on December 21, 2021.
Ndyamara was released on a R5 000 bail.
“After a series of court appearances, he was found guilty of fraud and will be sentenced on June 24, 2022.”