Hawks raid Lim­popo coun­cil

TEN­DER GRAFT AL­LEGED: R3BN OF FRUIT­LESS, WASTE­FUL, IR­REG­U­LAR EX­PEN­DI­TURE EX­POSED

The Citizen (KZN) - - News - Alex Mat­lala – [email protected]­i­zen.co.za

Doc­u­ments con­fis­cated for unit to in­ves­ti­gate where monies have gone.

The Direc­torate for Pri­or­ity Crime In­ves­ti­ga­tion (Hawks) seized doc­u­ments re­lated to al­leged fraud and cor­rup­tion in the award­ing of lu­cra­tive ten­ders in the Mo­galak­wena lo­cal mu­nic­i­pal­ity in Lim­popo at the week­end.

The mu­nic­i­pal­ity has been in­volved in over R3 bil­lion of fruit­less, waste­ful and ir­reg­u­lar ex­pen­di­ture in the past three years. Last year alone, Au­di­tor-Gen­eral Kimi Mak­wetu found R1.12 bil­lion of ir­reg­u­lar ex­pen­di­ture. This made the mu­nic­i­pal­ity the sec­ond worst in fi­nan­cial man­age­ment in the coun­try, af­ter Tsh­wane.

Hawks Lim­popo spokesper­son

Cap­tain Ma­timba Maluleke said yes­ter­day the unit had re­ceived a size­able num­ber of al­le­ga­tions of fraud and cor­rup­tion con­cern­ing ten­der awards within the mu­nic­i­pal­ity. “We will in­ves­ti­gate thor­oughly and ar­rest who­ever is re­spon­si­ble or in­volved in the com­mis­sion of crime,” he said.

Last month, the High Court in Jo­han­nes­burg ruled against a se­cu­rity com­pany that al­legedly si­phoned off mil­lions of rands from the mu­nic­i­pal­ity via ques­tion­able ten­der­ing pro­cesses. The mu­nic­i­pal­ity is now un­der ad­min­is­tra­tion and has a deficit of more than R2 bil­lion.

Ev­i­dence pro­vided in court to Judge Neil Tuchten showed that in­voices sent to the mu­nic­i­pal­ity were in­flated by over 40% and the pay­ments kept hush­hush. Tuchten found that a se­cu­rity com­pany had de­vel­oped a scheme to de­fraud the mu­nic­i­pal­ity and evade the law.

The Demo­cratic Al­liance in the mu­nic­i­pal­ity wel­comed the raid. “Mil­lions of rands which were sup­posed to com­plete projects have gone with­out a trace,” said DA coun­cil­lor Korny Dekker yes­ter­day.

ANC pro­vin­cial sec­re­tary Soviet Lek­ganyane said re­cently municipal of­fi­cials and ANC pro­vin­cial ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee mem­bers had been found to be do­ing busi­ness with the in­sti­tu­tion. Chair­per­son for parliament’s port­fo­lio com­mit­tee Faith Muthambi also re­ceived a re­port im­pli­cat­ing high-rank­ing ANC mem­bers in Water­berg of do­ing busi­ness with the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

The mu­nic­i­pal­ity was not avail­able for com­ment be­fore go­ing to print.

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