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2023/07/31      |  Written By:  Lieutenant Colonel Z Mohobeleli   |   Province:  Free State

FREE STATE: Hawks legal team based in the Free State has successfully interdicted a payment of R23 million by Matjhabeng Local Municipality to a security company. The Free State High Court granted the interim order on Friday, 28 July 2023 at 21:00.

In 2021, members of Serious Corruption Investigation unit based in Welkom opened an inquiry into allegations of  fraud, corruption, and contravention of the Municipal Finance Management Act 56 of 2003 involving municipality officials and a security company. Allegations were based on the flouting of procurement rules in relation to the appointment of the security company during 2019/2020 financial year. Upon investigation, it emerged that the said security company was appointed without a contract. Only an appointment letter confirming that the security company would be appointed for a period of three months was found. However, this security company continues to work for the municipality.

Thus far, this security company has been paid about R23 million by the municipality. The security company had also applied to court in an attempt to attach the municipality bank account pending a further payment of R23 million which it claims is outstanding payment.

Hawks legal team intervened and applied for an interim court order to stop the transfer of R23 million from the municipality bank account to the security company which the court granted. The matter is set for 24 August 2023 for a final court order. 

Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) in the Free State, Major General Mokgadi Bokaba says investigators are relentless in their pursuit to finalise this investigation and trust the Hawks legal team to ensure that the legal prescripts are followed to the latter . "Rest assured, everyone involved in the facilitation of payments to the security company without following rules will be arrested. In addition, we are also looking into recovering everything purchased with monies stolen from the municipality."