KZN speaker accused of taking kickbacks

KwaZulu-Natal speaker Peggy Nkonyeni allegedly accepted kickbacks for influencing the provincial health department to buy expensive equipment from an associate.

This is according to an indictment before the Pietermaritzburg Regional Court on Monday.

It is alleged she did this while she was the minister for health in the previous provincial executive.

She allegedly received at least one kickback of R20 000 deposited into her account and at least one stay in the luxurious Steenberg Hotel in Constantia in the Western Cape.

Lindihle Mkwanazi, manager of Rowmoor Investments, the alleged handler of the equipment procured for the department of health at an inflated price, and Mduduzi Victor Ntshangase, head of the supply chain in the KwaZulu-Natal department of health. Nkonyeni and Mkwanazi allegedly had a relationship.

State advocate Hein van der Merwe asked for an adjournment on Monday.

He said an attorney for Dr Gaston Savoi, of Intaka Company, and owner of the Steenberg Hotel, told Van der Merwe information had been found that was relevant to another criminal investigation and the Nkonyeni trial.

Van der Merwe asked that Savoi make an affidavit and send it to him.

Savoi’s advocate, Francois Van Zyl SC, had undertaken to help but was unable to so in time for this case as he sat as an acting judge in the Cape Town High Court during May.

Van der Merwe said he did not know what Savoi’s status would be in this trial and whether extra charges would be formulated on the strength of the affidavit.

He asked for an adjournment so that the affidavit could be considered.

Nkonyeni’s counsel, advocate Kessie Naidu SC, and lawyers representing her co-accused objected and asked that the case be struck off and that the accused be rearrested if the director of public prosecutions decided to charge them again.

However, regional magistrate Chris van Vuuren adjourned the case to June 12 saying that to strike the case off and rearrest the accused would cause further delays.

Nkonyeni was dressed in a red jacket and long skirt. Before the case started and during every adjournment, supporters of the accused sang and chanted lustily.—Sapa

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