Man who tried defrauding SAPS out of R160,000 for work on Ford Ranger granted bail

Christopher Andrew Joe faces fraud charges. Picture: Supplied / Hawks

Christopher Andrew Joe faces fraud charges. Picture: Supplied / Hawks

Published Feb 28, 2024


An Eastern Cape man who was employed as a garage service provider for the South African Police Services (SAPS) appeared in the Queenstown Magistrate’s Court facing a charge of fraud.

Christopher Andrew Joe, 44, was summoned to court by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) on Tuesday, February 27, and appeared in court the same day.

He faces fraud amounting to over R160,000.

Eastern Cape spokesperson for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (known as Hawks), Lieutenant Colonel Avele Fumba said the incident dates back to 2022.

“The incident dates back to November 17, 2022, when a SAPS Ford Ranger experienced a breakdown in Aliwal North. The vehicle was outsourced through Wesbank, appointed under an RT46 government contract. Innova Motorworks (Pty) Ltd where Joe serves as the sole director was selected for repairs.

“Upon the vehicle's return on July 25, 2023, it was allegedly invoiced for work supposedly including a new engine, turbo, and injectors, amounting to over R160,000. However, a subsequent inspection by a police garage mechanic revealed inconsistencies between the invoice and the actual work performed,” Fumba said.

The matter was escalated to the Hawks’ Serious Corruption Crime Investigation team which led to the discovery that the old engine of the Ford Ranger remained intact in the vehicle and the turbo and injectors were never replaced as claimed on the invoice.

Investigators immediately reported this and Wesbank was promptly informed.

The payment to Joe was immediately halted.

Joe was released on R2,000 bail.

The matter against him has been postponed until March 25.