Junior eThekwini staff ’living lives of millionaires’ raided by Hawks probing R700m tender corruption
Durban - A multi-disciplinary raid comprising different units from the Hawks is underway in various parts of Durban to recover about R700 million stolen from Durban’s Water and Sanitation unit through tender fraud and corruption.
Eighteen properties belonging to unit employees at different levels and service providers were targeted.
On Tuesday morning various items including a number of laptops, desktops, hard drives, cellphones, bank cards from different banks, company details, invoices and company registration documents were seized for analysis, Hawks spokesman, Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said.
A source close to the investigation said the National Clean Audit Task Team, comprising the National Prosecution Authority, the Asset Forfeiture Unit of the SAPS and that of the NPA, Digital Forensic Services, Crime Scene Management, the National Intervention Unit, and the Financial Intelligence Center were tasked with recovering the loot and junior and senior personnel were targeted as suspects.
“Junior personnel are living the lives of multi-millionaires and this has been going on for over 10 years with no action taken to stop the rot. All these stakeholders in this operation each have been utilized in order to unpack the severity of the crimes committed by a very well-orchestrated criminal enterprise working within the Water and Sanitation Unit of the Ethekweni Municipality. Investigations are continuing,” said the source.
The properties being raided are in Woodlands, Morningside, Chatsworth, Merebank and Montclair.
“This is over and above the raid which was reported in July to recover around R200 million. This huge and people would simply fraudulently process millions of rands. In some cases, no work was done and misrepresentations were made on recovered invoices. In some there were no authorized signatures as per the requirement for approval and payments were approved without any checks and balances,” said the source.
In July the Daily News reported that the Hawks, along with the Assets Forfeiture Unit swooped on the houses of various municipal officials who are believed to be involved in corruption worth an estimated R200 million.
*This story was updated to reflect the items seized by police during the raid.