Official probed for R1.6bn graft

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IOL pic may29 hawks logo Supplied .

Johannesburg - The Hawks on Friday confirmed they are investigating a government official for corruption involving R1.6 billion.

“There is no formal charge at the moment, but we can confirm that a preservation order was applied for in the high court,” Captain Paul Ramaloko said. “Most of this matter is before court.”

The corruption was allegedly committed during the official's term of office. Ramaloko declined to provide details, including the official's name.

Special Investigating Unit (SIU) spokesman Boy Ndala declined to comment, saying the matter was sub judice.

The Mail&Guardian reported on Friday that, according to court papers, former Gauteng health MEC Brian Hlongwa had been implicated in corruption dating back to 2006.

It reported that the African National Congress was a beneficiary of his actions and that Hlongwa, who is the ANC's chief whip in Gauteng, allegedly acted as a conduit for bribes.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) had lodged a series of applications in the High Court in Johannesburg asking for orders to freeze the assets of certain companies, and a house.

The NPA reportedly told the court these assets were the proceeds of a crime. In support of the applications, the Hawks and SIU submitted thousands of pages of evidence relating to the alleged corruption.

Among the allegations was that R300 000 was diverted from the Gauteng health department to the ANC's 2009 election campaign in the province. Money was allegedly siphoned off to fund the political ambitions of certain ANC figures. - Sapa


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