In The News South Africa

Hawks bust four ECape municipal officials on charges of corruption, money laundering

PORT ELIZABETH, March 31 – Four people were arrested for corruption and money laundering at the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) said on Friday.

A Hawks task team that was established to tackle corruption within municipalities uncovered the corrupt activities at the municipality.

The suspects, Nadia Gerwel (51), Daniel John Watson (62), Mandisi Mkaza (54), and Joeleen Andrea Wessels (48) face charges of corruption and money laundering. They appeared in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court on Friday after handing themselves over to the Hawks.

Hawks spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Netshiunda, said: “The Hawks are investigating corrupt activities around the R208 million which the National Treasury had approved in 2007 for the improvement of the Integrated Public Transport System at the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.”

“Initial investigations have revealed that the four suspects have diverted an amount of R12 million and used it for personal gain,” he added.

The four suspects were released on R2,000 bail each and surrendered their passports. They were also ordered to inform the investigating officer of any intentions to travel abroad.

However, the fifth suspect didn’t appear in court as he was not in town but will join them when at the next court appearance on May 3, 2017.

The National Head of the Hawks, Lieutenant General Mthandazo Ntlemeza warned public servants against using public funds for their own personal gain and ignoring their responsibilities.

“The claws of the Hawks are all out for all those who continue to rob innocent citizens of their deserved basic services and their days of enriching themselves with government money are over. The Hawks have declared war against corruption in municipalities all over the country and whosoever is involved in illegal activities rather stop now or risk feeling the sting of the Hawks”, Ntlemeza said.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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