File picture: Supplied

Johannesburg – The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) on Thursday said its serious corruption unit had arrested a 36-year-old Department of Public Works official for allegedly colluding with a service provider and defrauded the government of R1.4 million.

"It is alleged that the suspect colluded with the service provider and defrauded the Department of R1.4 million through the submission of fraudulent payment claims for a tender that was awarded to the service provider," said Captain S’fiso Nyakane.

The Hawks said the suspect, who was stationed at the department's regional office in Bloemfontein, "disappeared" when he heard he was wanted by the police. Investigators suspected he fled to neighbouring Lesotho.

However, after the suspect crossed back into South Africa he was nabbed by the Hawks in Ficksburg, Nyakane said.

"Four cellphones, a passport as well as a vehicle were subsequently seized."
 
The suspect will on Friday appear before the Bloemfontein Commercial Crimes Court, where he will face fraud and corruption charges.
 
African News Agency