Hawks swoop on more li­cens­ing of­fi­cials

Nowhere for cor­rupt to hide as purge bites

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - ANNA COX AND HEIDI GIOKOS anna.cox@inl.co.za heidi.giokos@inl.co.za

AN­OTHER six of­fi­cials have been ar­rested in the city’s con­tin­ued purge of cor­rupt li­cens­ing of­fi­cials.

The Hawks ar­rested the of­fi­cials yes­ter­day, and they ap­peared at the Spe­cialised Com­mer­cial Crime Court in Joburg in con­nec­tion with fraud and cor­rup­tion.

Four of the sus­pects are from the Martin­dale bulk li­cens­ing de­part­ment and the re­main­ing three are from the Langlaagte li­cens­ing de­part­ment.

This brings the to­tal num­ber of li­cens­ing cen­tre of­fi­cials ar­rested to 15. The re­main­ing 100 li­cens­ing of­fi­cials who were iden­ti­fied in the foren­sic re­port will be ar­rested in the com­ing weeks.

“We have also acted swiftly in en­sur­ing that 72 of the al­legedly cor­rupt li­cens­ing cen­tre of­fi­cials are sus­pended from their jobs. All of them were given an op­por­tu­nity to pro­vide rea­sons as to why they should not be sus­pended, but their rea­sons were found to be un­sat­is­fac­tory. We hope to con­duct the dis­ci­plinary hear­ings as soon as pos­si­ble. Due le­gal process will be fol­lowed at all times,” said Joburg mayor Her­man Mashaba.

The of­fi­cials are al­leged to have com­mit­ted crimes that re­sulted in a loss of at least R4 mil­lion to the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

Hawks spokesper­son cap­tain Carol Mu­lamu said in a state­ment yes­ter­day that three of the sus­pects were ar­rested at their homes and an­other three handed them­selves in. They ap­peared in court and were later re­leased on R5 000 bail each.

“The six sus­pects are aged be­tween 28 and 53. Vic­tor Nkosi, Nom­pumelelo Oli­fant, Quimaal Sal­lie and An­dre Witte’s case was post­poned to Fe­bru­ary 14. Midred Njody and Micah Moyo’s case was post­poned to March 1 for fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” said Mu­lamu.

Be­tween Jan­uary 2008 and Fe­bru­ary last year, 972 al­leged fraud­u­lent trans­ac­tions, with a to­tal value of R14.7m, were iden­ti­fied within the city.

“I would like to thank Gen­eral Shadrack Sibiya and his team for their ex­em­plary work and their ‘no fear or favour’ ap­proach to root­ing out cor­rup­tion in this city. Work­ing closely with the Hawks, SAPS, the pros­e­cut­ing au­thor­ity, JMPD and the res­i­dents of this city, we will con­tinue to wage war on cor­rup­tion,” Mashaba said.

The mayor has ap­pealed to res­i­dents for pa­tience while of­fi­cials con­tinue to rid the li­cens­ing cen­tres of cor­rupt of­fi­cials.

An ad­di­tional 40 new staff mem­bers have been hired, and staff mem­bers from other sec­tions within the li­cens­ing de­part­ment will be de­ployed to va­cant po­si­tions to min­imise the ef­fect on op­er­a­tions at the cen­tres.

“I have made it clear that cor­rup­tion is pub­lic en­emy num­ber one in Joburg. We will not rest un­til we rid this city of cor­rupt in­di­vid­u­als who en­rich them­selves at the ex­pense of our res­i­dents.

“We must cre­ate a pro­fes­sional pub­lic ser­vice, which serves the res­i­dents of our city with pride,” the mayor said.

PIC­TURE: MATTHEWS BALOYI

COR­RUP­TION: Langlaagte Li­cens­ing and Test­ing Sta­tion is one of the cen­tres that have been left short-staffed by the sus­pen­sion of 70 li­cens­ing of­fi­cials fol­low­ing the re­lease of a re­port high­light­ing fraud and cor­rup­tion.

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