Johannesburg - The Hawks' raid on North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo’s office is likely to trigger other, separate investigations into the looting of the province’s coffers.
The Revolutionary Council, a group of ANC dissidents opposed to Mahumapelo, is currently working on 29 cases of theft and corruption reported by government employees and which are being compiled into a dossier to be handed to the elite crime-fighting unit, the Hawks.
The council is made up of ANC members who came together in December with a mission to fight the rampant corruption in the North West government.
Lucky Kgabi, who leads the council, said on Thursday’s raid on Mahumapelo’s office was the tip of the iceberg.
“There are many cases coming our way because of government employees having found the courage to fight corruption. We have asked the Hawks to follow the money trail, because there seems to be a common person at the end of most illegal tenders,” said Kgabi.
Some of the cases they want investigated include the hiring of a waterworks company from Mpumalanga’s Mbombela municipality, which was given an emergency contract to maintain roads in North West.
Another is that of a farming company believed to have bought cars, farms and abattoirs for MECs.
“Supra (Mahumapelo) has created a parallel government where you have officials sitting in their offices doing nothing, while private companies are hired to do their jobs at inflated prices,” said Kgabi.
Meanwhile, it has emerged that the Hawks acted on a tip-off about a multimillion IT tender irregularly awarded to politically connected businessmen when they raided the offices of Mahumapelo and the North West Finance Department.
Insiders told Independent Media that North West had awarded the multimillion tender to Nepo Data Dynamics without following tender procedures in 2016. The sources said the tender was illegally issued, adding that “the state security on IT was compromised and violated, and in this case, policy on IT”.
“When this company was appointed, there were already employees in the Finance Department also providing the same services. The published editorial content was done by the employees. It was double dipping,” said one of the sources.
He said they decided last month to approach the Hawks and provide them with finer details, including possible collusive behaviour by senior officials in the provincial government and their close relatives.
The sources said Nepo Data Dynamics had invoiced the government for R12 million per month, and was duly paid - while other service providers had to wait for more than 90 days to secure payment.
Last night, however, Mahumapelo said there was nothing wrong about the raid at his offices. “We welcome and support the initiative by the Hawks to allegations of fraud and corruption in sections of supply chain management in the Office of the Premier and Department of Finance.”
Hawks spokesperson Captain Tlangelani Rikhotso confirmed the raid and said the value of the alleged fraud and corruption amounted to R160 million.
“Several documents, which will assist in the ongoing probe, were seized from different offices," Rikhotso said.