- 10 Mogalakwena Municipal officials have been arrested for alleged involvement in corruption.
- The Limpopo municipality has allegedly suffered losses to the tune of over R15 million due to illegal activities.
- Among the property repossessed after the arrests was a BMW belonging to one of the municipal official’s girlfriends.
A BMW 1 series belonging to the girlfriend of a Mogalakwena Municipality official was among the property seized when the Hawks arrested 10 allegedly corrupt officials from the municipality of Mokopane.
The raids happened, “… as part of the ongoing investigation into the allegations of corruption at Mogalakwena Municipality”.
Captain Matimba Maluleke said the Hawks’ Serious Corruption Investigation members swooped on 13 suspects including senior officials, company directors, and 11 companies at Mogalakwena Municipal offices on Monday morning.
It is alleged that the officials received gratification from service providers and that other companies were paid money for services not rendered.
As a result, the municipality has allegedly suffered losses to the tune of over R15 million.
“During the operation, a BMW 1 series belonging to the girlfriend of one of the suspects was seized as an affected gift,” said Maluleke.
National Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, Lieutenant-General Godfrey Lebeya, commended the investigation team, “… for the hard work in securing the attendance of these group[s] before court.
“The message that crime does not pay will soon be appreciated”, said Lebeya.
According to Maluleke, “… the operation is still ongoing and more arrests are expected”.
Opposition parties, the DA and the FF Plus, have welcomed the arrests.
DA Caucus Chairperson at Mogalakwena Local Municipality, Yolande Coetzee, said: The Hawks swooped in at the municipal building this morning and arrested and cuffed amongst others, the deputy corporate manager, Jabu Mashamaite, former mayor Andrina Matsemela, and various tenderers. They are being charged on alleged corruption within the municipality.
She added the DA believes, “… that these arrests and the court processes which will follow will flesh out the core facts which will be instrumental to restore sound financial governance and improved service delivery for the people of Mogalakwena”.
The arrests follow the proclamation signed by President Cyril Ramaphosa in March 2021 that authorised the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to investigate: “Serious maladministration; improper or unlawful conduct by officials or employees; unlawful appropriation or expenditure of public money or property, unlawful and irregular or unapproved acquisitive acts among others”.
The FF Plus, through a media statement also welcomed the arrests saying it had in cooperation with other councillors from opposition parties, “… various community organisations and interest groups, been fighting to see justice served since 2014 when the municipality was taken over by a corrupt faction of ANC officials”.
“It is shocking to witness the decline of the once prosperous municipality, which has been looted and driven into the ground over the course of the last six years,” read the party’s statement.