‘Hawks’ bust min­is­ters and CEOs

Scam­mers ride on fight against cor­rup­tion

Sunday World - - Sunday Report - By Aubrey Mothombeni moth­ombe­nia@sun­day­world.co.za

Some of for­mer pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma’s cabi­net min­is­ters and ex-CEOs of state-owned en­ti­ties dis­cov­ered through bo­gus Hawks of­fi­cials that they were un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion for cor­rup­tion.

This was un­cov­ered af­ter they laid com­plaints with the Hawks that they were ap­proached by sup­posed Hawks of­fi­cials who de­manded mil­lions of rand in bribes to stop the in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

So clev­erly thought out was the plan, that some of the min­is­ters and ex­ec­u­tives shiv­ered and al­legedlya­greed tomeet up with the bo­gus Hawks of­fi­cials.

This, ac­cord­ing to Hawks in­sid­ers, was be­cause the per­pe­tra­tors were work­ing with real of­fi­cers and were privy­to­cases thatwere in­ves­ti­gated by the Hawks at the time.

Hawks spokesper­son Hang­wani Mu­laudzi con­firmed the unit had re­ceived com­plaints and said they were be­ing in­ves­ti­gated. Mu­laudzi also con­firmed that some of the for­mer min­is­ter­sand se­niorex­ec­u­tives were un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the unit at the time they were tar­geted by the scam­sters.

He said they had ar­rested some of the sus­pects.

Mu­laudzi re­fused to re­veal the names of the cabi­net min­is­ters tar­geted by the syn­di­cate, say­ing “that re­mains con­fi­den­tial, it’s an op­er­a­tional mat­ter”.

How­ever, ac­cord­ing to Hawks of­fi­cers privy to the com­plaints, the min­is­ters tar­geted in­cluded for­mer public en­ter­prises min­is­ter Lynne Brown, for­mer state se­cu­ri­tymin­is­ter Bon­gani Bongo and for­mer en­ergy min­is­ter David Mahlobo.

In state-owned en­ti­ties, for­mer SABC COO Hlaudi Mot­soe­neng, and ex Eskom CEOs Brian Molefe and Mat­shela Kokowere con­tacted by the same bo­gus of­fi­cers.

The Hawks of­fi­cials said the bo­gus of­fi­cers used the names of for­mer act­ing Hawks head Yolisa Matakata and even Mu­laudzi when call­ing their vic­tims.

Sun­day World un­der­stands be­tween R500 000 and R2m was de­manded from these high-pro­file fig­ures.

Brown con­firmed she had opened a case. “Yes I opened a case with Hawks. You should ask the Hawks how far the case is.”

Mahlobo also con­firmed reg­is­ter­ing a com­plaint with the Hawks, but said his had to do with a se­cu­rity threat.

“I have launched a dif­fer­ent com­plaint and I’m still wait­ing for an up­date from the Hawks.

“It’s very sen­si­tive [and] I can’t dis­cuss it with­you since it has to do with se­cu­rity threat.”

Bongo de­nied that he had reg­is­tered any com­plaint with the law en­force­ment of­fi­cers.

Koko said the sup­posed Hawks of­fi­cers de­manded R500 000 from him with a promiseto squashan­in­ves­ti­ga­tion against him in Novem­ber last year. “The guy who called me said he was Gen­eral Matakata and of­fered to help me with my cases.”

Koko said he had re­ported the mat­ter to the Hawks branchin Ger­mis­ton­wherehe asked their head why their mem­bers were de­mand­ing bribes from him.

“We then set an en­trap­ment for them but it didn’t work be­cause they were able to sus­pect that some­thing was wrong and they ran away.”

Molefe also con­firmed re­port­ing the mat­ter to the Hawks but said he saw it as a trap from a group of peo­ple who wanted to get him ar­rested for cor­rup­tion.

“Yes there is such a case. In fact it hap­pened two times. On both oc­ca­sions it was re­ported to the Hawks,” Molefe said.

“On both oc­ca­sions, they stopped con­tact be­fore we could meet to dis­cuss the de­tails of their de­mands.”

Mot­soe­neng also con­firmed the mat­ter, say­ing the con artists de­manded R600 000 from him and whenhe did not take them se­ri­ously, they low­eredthe­fig­ure­toR200 000.

“Then I de­cided to re­port the mat­ter to the Hawks to in­ves­ti­gate,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to Hawks sources, they dis­cov­ered that the syn­di­cate­was­runby anum­berof in­mates from Kgosi Mam­puru Prison in Pre­to­ria and they were al­legedly work­ing with po­lice and some Hawk of­fi­cers who as­sisted to carry out the plans out­side prison.

It is be­lieved that be­fore their ap­pre­hen­sion by the Hawks in a trap, the crooks had al­ready so­licited R20m in bribes from some of their vic­tims.

But the of­fi­cers work­ing on the case said those who reg­is­tered com­plaints with the unit de­nied ever pay­ing any money to the bo­gus Hawks mem­bers.

/ Gallo Im­ages /Deaan Vivier)

Hawks spokesper­son Hang­wani Mu­laudzi con­firmed the unit has re­ceived com­plaints.

/Gallo Im­ages / Mo­hau Mo­fo­keng

Chiefs man­ager Bobby Mo­taung is likely to be back in the Nel­spruit Mag­is­trate’s Court to face charges of fraud re­lat­ing to the build­ing of the Mbombela Sta­dium.

Bon­gani Bongo

David Mahlobo

Lynne Brown

Mat­shela Koko

Brian Molefe

Hlaudi Mot­soe­neng

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