The man, recently appointed to a senior official role at the Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone, previously held senior positions at the departments of trade and industry and energy.
Among the seven arrested are three senior government officials and three businessmen. The accused face 60 charges which include corruption, fraud, money laundering, contravention of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act (Precca), as well as contravention of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA).
The arrests follow a R255m tender the Free State department of human settlements awarded in 2014 to audit and assess households in the province with asbestos roofing.
The tender was awarded to Blackhead Consulting and Diamond Hill Trading. The joint venture later subcontracted Mastertrade 232 to do the audit. Mastertrade, in turn, subcontracted ORI Group to do the audit and assessment for R21.3m.
Diamond Hill Trading was owned by businessman Ignatius “Igo” Mpambani, who was murdered in broad daylight while driving down Sandton’s Bowling Avenue in a Bentley.