Free State Department of Human Settlements raided by Hawks amid fraud allegations

The Hawks are investigating officials at the Department of Human Settlements. File Picture

The Hawks are investigating officials at the Department of Human Settlements. File Picture

Published May 14, 2024


The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (known as Hawks) raided the Free State Department of Human Settlements on Tuesday over allegations of housing fraud.

The fraud is in relation to the Financial Linked Individual Subsidy Programme (Flisp).

The provincial spokesperson for the Hawks, Warrant Officer Fikiswa Matoti said a search and seizure operation was carried out over allegations of fraud, corruption and money laundering.

The operation included members of the Hawks’ Serious Corruption Investigation team based in Bloemfontein, Priority Crime Specialised Investigation (PCSI) and Bloemfontein Tactical Response Team (TRT).

“During April 2024, the Provincial Department of Human Settlements referred information for criminal investigation to the Hawks’ in relation to the Flisp where some officials were allegedly involved in fraudulent activities related to Flisp applications that were identified.

“This was after the Anti-Corruption Unit within the department conducted their internal investigation that resulted in the suspension of at least one department official,” Matoti said.

Documents and electronic devices were seized from the offices.

“Necessary measures for a search to be conducted at the Department of Human Settlements were put in place to search and seize all original documents needed for the investigation. The application was approved by the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court on May 9. Documents and electronic devices were seized. The investigations into this matter are still ongoing,” Matoti said.

In a separate matter, the former acting national police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane and his five co-accused, who were arrested in connection with two police tenders totalling more than R54 million, will have their case heard in the Pretoria Regional Court.

Phahlane, Lieutenant-Colonel Godfrey Mahwayi, Major-General Maanda Obert Nemutandzhela, Major-General Mankosana Agnes Makhele, and businessmen Inbanathan Kistiah and Avendra Naidoo are facing charges of fraud, corruption, theft and violation of the Public Finance Management Act. These charges relate to two police tenders issued in 2016.

The accused were released on bail ranging from R5,000 to R50,000.

They expected back in court on May 17.

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