Daily Dispatch

Hawks pounce on EC officials and businessma­n

- By SIKHO NTSHOBANE sikhon@dispatch.co.za

THE Hawks are moving in the Eastern Cape. They have pounced on eight municipal officials in the province and a businessma­n implicated in issuing R300-million in tenders in just one day in 2015.

Eastern Cape ANC provincial secretary Lulama Ngcukayith­obi welcomed the arrests, saying that, as part of the new administra­tive process, the ANC wanted all matters relating to possible fraud and corruption to be dealt with speedily.

On Wednesday, eight senior Alfred Nzo district municipali­ty officials and a businessme­n were arrested.

Yesterday, the eight officials, among them the former chief financial officer (CFO), and the businessma­n, appeared in court in EmaXesiben­i (formerly Mount Ayliff).

They were granted bail but will be back in court on April 5. The postponeme­nt was to give the Hawks time for further investigat­ion.

In court were former CFO Luyolo Fokazi, 44, current supply chain manager Zuko Mani, 39, Thembisa Constance Manciya, 52, Mawethu Mtengwana, 46, Sifiso Ntanga, 36, Nkosinathi Gule, 50, Xolani Masiza, 49, Miranda Matutuba, 43, and the owner of two companies, businessma­n Unathi Mantanga, 33.

They face charges of corruption, fraud, money laundering and contraveni­ng the Municipal Finance Management Act, said national Hawks spokesman Brigadier Hangwana Mulaudzi.

“The case dates back to 2015, where it is alleged that they colluded on the issuing of tenders amounting to R300-million in one day,” Mulaudzi said.

“These tenders related to water supply, including the installati­on of water tanks and water pipes.”

Alfred Nzo district municipali­ty bosses said yesterday they had not been notified of the arrests.

“There was no formal notificati­on to the municipali­ty in relation to what the arrests were about and how many employees were arrested as it did not happen on the premises of the municipali­ty,” said municipal spokesman Lubabalo Majenge.

He said they would assist the agencies where necessary but could not comment further on the matter “as it was sub judice”.

“Further inquiries must be referred to the responsibl­e law enforcemen­t agency,” he said.

Ngcukayith­obi said they were not surprised by the turn of events in Alfred Nzo, as there had been allegation­s of fraud and corruption going around for quite some time.

UDM Eastern Cape provincial spokesman Mabandla Gogo said yesterday’s arrests of the eight officials were the “tip of the iceberg”.

He said a lot more rot would be uncovered in many municipali­ties across the province should they also be investigat­ed.

He called for the implicated officials to be suspended and the Alfred Nzo district municipali­ty to initiate its own internal investigat­ion into fraud and corruption. —

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa