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Ex-KwaZulu-Natal treasury head, sentenced to prison for graft

The Pietermaritzburg High Court has dismissed an application to appeal the conviction and sentence of Dumisani Sipho Derrick Shabalala.

Shabalala was a former head of the KwaZulu-Natal Treasury.

He was sentenced last week to 15 years imprisonment for fraud, 15 years imprisonment for corruption, 10 years imprisonment for money laundering, and 5 years imprisonment for violating the Public Finance Management Act.

However, after the application for leave to appeal was denied on Tuesday, Shabalala’s bail was revoked and he will have to start serving his sentence.

His conviction relates to his receipt of R1.5 million from Intaka Investments for the acquisition of water purification plants worth R44 million.

The offence occurred between 2004-2007, when Shabalala formed a relationship with Uruguayan businessman Gaston Savoi and the company Intaka Investments.

Shabalala traveled to Brazil to view the purification equipment.

When he returned to South Africa, he wrote to the then MEC for Social Development, Dr Zweli Mkhize, recommending that monies be allocated from the poverty alleviation fund for the acquisition of the water purification plants from Intaka.

The process culminated in the award of a contract for 22 “Wataka” plants. Shabalala was the chairperson of the procurement committee that awarded the contract for the supply of goods.

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Elaine Zungu, welcomed the court’s decision to refuse this application.

“This shows that the KZN is making progress in our fight against corruption. We will continue to work to rid the government of corruption. We applaud the excellent work done by the Hawks’ prosecution and investigation teams,” said Zungu.

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