- The Hawks continue to swoop in on the corrupt with more high profile arrests carried out on Friday
- This time, the unit nabbed Mayor Kgotso Khumalo and municipality director Cyril Hendry on charges of corruption
- The case against the pair is in relation to R5 million which was allegedly looted from the municipalities to the duo's private bank accounts
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The Hawks have arrested the Executive Mayor and Director of JB Marks Municipality on charges of theft and fraud.
In a statement released by the investigative unit on the arrests, it was confirmed that the high profile politicians had been taken into custody:
"The Executive Mayor, Kgotso Moses Khumalo and Director Cyril Hendry of the JB Marks Municipality appeared before the Potchefstroom Magistrate's Court facing charges of fraud and theft following their arrest on Friday."
The unit confirmed that the arrests are a result of a probe into R5 million syphoned out of the municipality's account:
"The arrests emanate from investigations that were conducted by the Hawks' Serious Commercial Crime Investigation into a trust account where a total of approximately R5 million intended for the JB Marks municipality was deposited. The funds, however, were never declared to the Auditor-General."
Investigations found that a series of payments were allegedly made from the trust into the suspects' private bank accounts instead.
These funds were then allegedly paid into the pair's personal bank accounts after being laundered through the trust:
"It is alleged that the funds in the trust were misrepresented to appear as if they were being used to pay for services rendered to the municipality, meanwhile invoices were allegedly being falsified.
"In some instances, funds were allegedly paid into service providers' accounts for services that were never rendered, thereafter the money would allegedly be collected by the suspects."
The investigations are continuing according to Captain Tlangelani Rikhotso, who didn't rule out the possibility of more arrests.
The case in question has been postponed to 1 December to allow for further investigation. The politicians have been released on warning and were ordered not to set foot near the municipality and against contacting any of the witnesses involved.
In other news, Briefly.co.za reported that the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation has arrested four former senior state officials for alleged tender irregularities committed at the Gauteng Department of Health 13 years ago.
In a statement issued after the arrests were carried out by the Hawks on Thursday morning, the entity commented that:
"The long-drawn-out case by the Hawks’ Serious Corruption Investigation emanates from February 2007, wherein the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) submitted a proposal to the GDoH to continue with an information technology maintenance programme at the department."
The Hawks explained that the cost of the project was exponentially inflated and awarded to a private entity:
"The total cost of such a project was meant to be no more than R57 million for a period of three years. The contract was instead awarded to a private entity at a whooping cost of around R1.2 billion without following due tender procedures."
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