12 October 2017

South Africa: Hawks Obtain Preservation Order for Mnquma Local Municipality Alleged Fraud and Corruption

press release

Pretoria — The Hawk's Asset Forfeiture Investigation team together with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA)'s Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) have obtained two preservation orders and a restraint order into allegations of fraud, corruption and money laundering estimated at R3 million.

The orders were obtained on 03 October 2017 from the Grahamstown High Court. On Thursday all the affected parties alleged to be party to the gross fraud and corruption were served with notices as well attaching some of the assets.

The Hawks received complaints that from December 2014 to early in 2017 the Mnquma Local Municipality, Butterworth paid Big Event Boy (Pty) Ltd and other service providers for services - refuse bags and cleaning materials - not rendered.

An auditing firm was engaged to conduct forensic investigation into the complaint. The final outlined the processes followed by the municipality in appointing Big Event Boy (Pty) Ltd, Igubevu Construction (Pty) Ltd and RPS Ilangabi CC.

It's alleged the Municipality awarded Big Event Boy (Pty) Ltd two tenders between 2014 and 2017. It was found that both tenders were awarded irregularly. Some municipal employees are alleged to have received kickbacks for state business.

Asset investigations into the alleged fraud, corruption and money laundering were conducted against the the late Sindile Tantsi, the late Sive Nombembe, Big Event Boy (Pty) Ltd, Tembalethu Ntuthu, Igubevu Construction (Pty) Ltd, Zanele Mbewu, Primrose Gonya, Mkhululi Tintelo, Bayanda Mbambani, Zibuthe Mngwazi and Zingisa Nduna.

The extent of the alleged gross fraud, corruption and money laundering will be revealed in court whilst more restraints are set to ensue in due course.

The Acting Head of the Hawks Lieutenant General Yolisa Matakata has welcomed the granting of the orders and warned that anyone who is deemed to be receiving gratifications will be liable to prosecution.

"The teams have been working swiftly and based on this investigation we have uncovered serious financial misconduct. The Eastern Cape is not an exception, we have seen picked up in other provinces that there has looting of state funds and that is unacceptable.

"The Hawks and the NPA are working tirelessly and those found to be in the wrong irrespective on the positions in the public space will have to answer to the courts," she said.

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