South Africa: Police On Western Cape Municipal Manager Released On Bail for Interfering With SIU Investigation

press release

The Municipal Manager of Cederburg Municipality in the Western Cape, Mr. Henry George Slimmered was on Thursday, 26 November 2020 released on R20 000 bail by the Citrasdal Magistrate Court, Cederburg following his arrest by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) on Wednesday 25th November 2020.

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) laid a criminal charge of interfering with SIU investigation, in line with section 12(1)(a) of the Special Investigation and Special Tribunal Act of 1996, against Mr. Slimmered after he issued a memo instructing employees of the municipality not to co-operate with the SIU investigators and to deny them access to municipal premises.

The SIU raided the Cederburg Municipality offices in September 2020 in line with Proclamation No.23 of 2020 signed by President Cyril Ramaphosa authorizing the SIU to investigate allegations of corruption and maladministration in procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for COVID-19 in government institutions and entities of the State.

On top of instructing employees not to co-operate, the municipality took the SIU to court claiming the Unit raided municipal offices unlawfully without proclamation but later withdrawn the court challenge.

As part of his bail condition, Mr. Slimmered was ordered to:

Sign twice a week (Monday and Friday) at a police station

Hand in all his passports to the investigating officer

Always be available to police sergeant

Not interfere directly or indirectly with investigation regarding the obstruction and defeating the ends of justice and PPE investigation

Not intimidate directly or indirectly municipal employees

Not withhold documents in possession of the Municipality which forms part of the SIU investigation and matters before court

Not communicate with municipal employees pertaining SIU investigation and matter before court

Appoint an official who will communicate directly and indirectly with employees of Cederburg Municipality to carry out any or all official municipality duties and functions on all matters relating to SIU investigation

The arrest and subsequent court appearance by Mr. Slimmered should send a clear message to all public representatives and public servants that any action that is aimed at interfering or obstructing the SIU to carry out its mandate will have severe consequences.

The SIU is a forensic and litigation agency tasked with a mandate of investigating serious malpractice, malfeasance and maladministration in relation to the administration of State institutions, State assets and public money as well as any conduct which may seriously harm the interest of the State and the public.

Fraud and corruption allegations may be reported via the following platforms: / Hotline: 0800 037 774

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