In The News South Africa

Senior Northern Cape municipal officials sentenced for corruption

KIMBERLEY, August 31 – A former municipal manager and chief financial officer at the Karoo Hoogland Municipality in the Northern Cape, and a bogus company owner, have been sentenced for corruption by the Williston Regional Court.

Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) spokesperson, Captain Philani Nkwalase, said Louis Nothnagel, 55, the former Hoogland municipal manager and Marius Botha, 58, a former COO at the municipality were sentenced on Wednesday, along with Ockert Tobias Cloete, 65.

Nkwalase said: “Marius Botha  and Ockert Tobias Cloete, a bogus company owner were each sentenced to five years imprisonment for corruption, four years for money laundering and two years for four counts of fraud.

“Ockert Tobias Cloete was given an additional eight years imprisonment for a separate fraud charge. All these were said to run concurrently. Botha will effectively serve five years imprisonment, while Cloete will serve eight years imprisonment.”

Nothnagel was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, with an alternative R5,000 fine for contravention of section 173 (1) of Municipal Finance Management Act no 53 of 2003, which translates to negligence or failure prevent corruption.

The Acting National Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, Lieutenant General Yoliswa Matakata, welcomed the sentences against the trio, saying: “This sentence will serve as a deterrent to all acts of corruption particularly the public service sector. Those that witness corruption have an obligation to report it, failure to do so will result in one being prosecuted.”

They were found guilty in May and earlier this week, following an application by the Assets Forfeiture Unit, the court ordered that Botha repay R100,000, while Cloete was ordered to repay R50,000 as recovery of the proceeds of crime.

A Hawks investigation had revealed that the prescribed procurement processes were not followed in appointing the service provider. “Consequently, Cloete’s bogus company received undue payments for delivery and installation of 600 solar geysers (100L low pressure) to the community in Williston.”

– African News Agency (ANA)

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