Hawks swoop on more licensing officials
Nowhere for corrupt to hide as purge bites
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.
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.