68 statements obtained by the Hawks on Phala Phala Crime fighting agency outlines recent cases

- By Mpho Koka

A total of 68 statements have been obtained by the Hawks in connection with the Phala Phala farm scandal involving President Cyril Ramaphosa.

This was revealed yesterday by Hawks national head LtGen Godfrey Lebeya when he outlined some of the milestones the entity has achieved in the second quarter from July to September this year.

Lebeya said investigat­ion into the theft of large sums of US dollars at Ramaphosa’s farm in Bela Bela, Limpopo, is ongoing. “We are not reporting blow by blow on this investigat­ion. We have 68 statements received…We have senior officers looking into this matter and prosecutor­s who are helping us so that whatever we record is in line with the law.’’

This announceme­nt by Lebeya comes a day before the deadline for the independen­t panel looking into grounds for Ramaphosa’s impeachmen­t to submit its report to the speaker of the National Assembly, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, today.

Former spy and prisons boss Arthur Fraser opened a criminal case against Ramaphosa in May and accused him of stashing large sums of US dollars, and failure to report the stolen funds on his property.

Lebeya said between July and September, the Hawks arrested 827 suspects. Out of this number, 217 accused have been convicted and sentenced.

He said 128 conviction­s are from serious organised crime, 74 are of serious commercial crimes and 15 of corruption.

Lebeya said the entity secured 222 arrests for fraud, the highest in a particular crime.

He said 126 arrests were for illegal mining activities and 97 arrests for suspects involved in copper cable theft, and vandalism of railway lines and other essential infrastruc­ture.

Lebeya said the Hawks and other law enforcemen­t agencies were able to seize and attach assets worth R1.8bn in connection with the Covid-19 relief funds corruption.

The financial intelligen­ce centre has frozen 25 accounts which amount to R274m. The asset forfeiture unit made 38 recoveries of R320.3m. The Special Investigat­ing Unit made 26 recoveries worth R465m and the SA Revenue Service made 22 recoveries amounting to R740.8m.

Lebeya said 246 cases were registered of Covid corruption and 170 accused persons were charged. He said 38 court cases have been finalised, resulting in 36 conviction­s and acquittals in two cases

Lebeya said the entity is handling more than 22,000 cases, with more than 12,000 accused arrested.

 ?? / FREDDY MAVUNDA ?? Directorat­e for Priority Crime Investigat­ion head Lt-Gen Adv Godfrey Lebeya
/ FREDDY MAVUNDA Directorat­e for Priority Crime Investigat­ion head Lt-Gen Adv Godfrey Lebeya

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