By Thys Khiba
Bloemfontein – Dinesh Patel, the brother-in-law of Gupta associate, Iqbal Sharma has been granted R10 000 bail by the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.
This comes after the state couldn’t oppose bail for Patel.
Meanwhile, Sharma was denied bail when appeared in court in the same case last week.
The Nulane Investment representative, Patel appeared on charges of procurement fraud involving R25m, paid by the Free State department of agriculture and rural development to Nulane Investment 204 (Pty) Ltd.
Patel, 16 other accused together with companies face charges of fraud and money laundering in the multi-million feasibility study, that was contracted to Nulane Investment y the Free State government, to check the likelihood of the success of the Mohoma Mobung agriculture project.
It has been reported that Nulane Investment had no workers on its book and subcontracted Deloitte Ltd to produce the report. Deloitte consulting was paid R1.5m to provide a report to the department of agriculture and rural development in Free State.
“The fraud is in connection with a R25m feasibility study in 2011 that was irregularly granted to Nulane Investment 204 (Pty) Ltd, a company owned and controlled by Sharma.
The company had to provide a report to the department within seven months. Nulane, however, subcontracted the work to Deloitte Consulting Pty Ltd for R1.5m,” said NPA Investigating Directorate (ID) spokesperson Sindisiwe Seboka.
According to Seboka, Nulane subcontracted the already completed work by a company called Deloitte to Gateway Limited and paid them over at least R19m. Therefore, these funds were then, reported to have been, diverted to Islandsite Investments 180, which, which is a Gupta-owned company.
“These funds were then placed at the disposal of the Gupta family,” said Seboka.
“The ID alleges that Sharma, Thabethe; former FSDOA head, Limakatso Moorosi; and former FSDOA Chief Financial Officer, Seipati Dhlamini, colluded to divert funds earmarked for rural development in the Free State,” said Seboka.
The other accused in the charge sheet are not currently in SA. All the accused in the country are expected to return to Court on July 5.
The matter will then be transferred to the high court in Bloemfontein. @centralnews
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