File image

Cape Town – A senior municipal official from Swellendam was arrested this week for “illegal dealings” in connection with an alleged R5 million bogus housing scheme in George, the Hawks revealed on Friday.

In a statement, Hawks spokesman Robert Netshiunda said Cecil Africa, the current municipal manager of the Swellendam Local Municipality, appeared in George Regional Court in the Southern Cape immediately after his arrest on Wednesday and was released on a warning.

“It is alleged that Africa, who was the Director of Planning and Development at George Municipality as well as the municipal manager of the same municipality between 2004 and 2008, unlawfully and intentionally failed to take reasonable steps to prevent unreasonable, irregular and wasteful expenditure,” said Netshiunda.

“He allegedly went against the legal opinion from the National Treasury and went on with the establishment of a Section 21 company, the George Housing Association (GHA), which he made people believe that it would address the housing challenges within the municipality.”

It is alleged that Africa approved funding of R5 million to the GHA over a period of three years.

Netshiunda said investigators have found that no house was ever built by the company and none of the things which were put forward as the objectives of GHA was ever achieved.

Africa faces a charge of contravening the Municipal Finance Management Act – the law which spells out the rules and procedures for spending local government funds.

Africa will appear in court again on April 15.