File picture: Pexels
File picture: Pexels

Former George mayor, senior municipal officials to appear over R9m fraud

By IOL Reporter Time of article published Sep 19, 2020

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George – A former mayor of George in the Southern Cape and four senior municipal officials are expected to appear in the George Magistrate’s Court soon on charges of fraud and corruption of R9 million, the Hawks said on Saturday.

The Hawks serious commercial crime investigation team has served five suspects linked to the George local Municipality, aged between 48 and 60, with summonses to appear at the local magistrate's court on charges of fraud, corruption, and contravention of the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA), Hawks spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Philani Nkwalase said in a statement.

"The former mayor allegedly offered work to a company on a planned project long before it was formally registered with the municipality.

’’He further (allegedly) colluded with the municipal manager and senior personnel within the community services department of the municipality and appointed other associated companies to do work under the 'War on Waste' project in 2017," Nkwalase said.

These service providers allegedly received payments long before the project was formally registered or a project budget allocation was made. About R9 million was paid between May and December 2017.

"A chain of gratifications were allegedly paid to the officials involved in the form of cash payments, holiday accommodation and donations for school functions.

"The matter was reported to the Hawks for investigation in 2018 after one of the company director’s reported fraudulent and corrupt behaviour of the officials in 2018.

’’This was due to the failure to deliver on the promises made to the companies when the relationship between the mayor and his councillor allegedly turned sour," Nkwalase said.

The former mayor and the four other senior officials will make their first court appearance on October 9.

African News Agency (ANA)

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