ANC mulls Hlongwa graft claims

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iol news pic Brian Hlongwa INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS Brian Hlongwa is the ANC chief Whip in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature. Picture:Paballo Thekiso Picture:Paballo Thekiso

Johannesburg - Allegations of corruption involving ANC Gauteng Chief Whip Brian Hlongwa have been referred to the party's integrity committee, the ruling party in the province said on Monday.

“Allegations in the media have been handed over to the integrity committee so that comrade Brian Hlongwa is offered the opportunity to take the organisation into his confidence,” spokesman Nkenke Kekana said.

“To our knowledge he hasn't been charged and we should caution that it should not be a trial by media.”

The Mail&Guardian reported on Friday that according to court papers Hlongwa, the former Gauteng health MEC, 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 allegedly acted as a conduit for bribes.

The National Prosecuting Authority 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 the Special Investigating Unit 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.

Kekana denied that the ANC had received any money from an official in the health department.

“This is not true, we have not received any donation,” he said.

On Friday, the NPA said over R1 billion in contract claims upon the Gauteng health department had been seized. The seizures were related to two tenders awarded by the department in 2007.

The first tender was for the setting up of a project management unit (PMU).

The NPA said the tender was fraudulently rigged in favour of 3P Consulting (Pty) Ltd (3P) and 3P was a party to the rigging. 3P's CEO Richard Payne was a friend of Hlongwa's.

In January 2008, Payne, Hlongwa, plus 3P employees and department officials went on a holiday in Cuba paid for by 3P, the NPA said.

The second tender was for a health information system and electronic health records (HIS-eHR).

It was awarded to Baoki Consortium, who were party to the tender being rigged. During 2007 to 2008, Payne and Pillay paid a R3.3m deposit for a house for Hlongwa at 163 Eccleston Crescent, Bryanston, with the purchase price being R7.2m.

Sapa



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