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Hawks admit Norah Grose TERS error

DA councillor and sub-council one councillor Nora Grose. Picture: Supplied

DA councillor and sub-council one councillor Nora Grose. Picture: Supplied

Published May 24, 2021

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Cape Town - The Hawks have clarified that DA councillor and sub-council one councillor Nora Grose is not linked to the fraud and money laundering case as reported.

Instead, the councillor is being investigated for alleged misappropriation of funds.

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“(Grose is) not linked to TERS (the Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme) funding, only on the misappropriation of the City humanitarian funds that were channelled to the church,” said Hawks spokesperson Zinzi Hani.

The misappropriation was picked up by the Hawks while they were investigating the fraud and money laundering case against Reuben Swartz, the chairperson of the South African Religious Civic Organisation.

Swartz made made a brief appearance in the Bellville Serious Commercial Crimes Court on Friday on charges of fraud and money laundering. His case has been postponed to June 23 for further particulars.

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He was arrested by the Hawks Serious Corruption Investigation team in December 2020 and later released on R10 000 bail. It is alleged that Swartz fraudulently claimed R297 800 from Ters and used it for personal gain.

“The investigation further revealed that Swartz received up to R170 000 from the City’s humanitarian fund, which was meant to provide food parcels in Atlantis but, instead, the money was allegedly channelled to a church in Table View with ties to Grose. At this stage, nothing links councillor Grose to TERS funding as reported before,” said Hani

The DA’s Emma Powell says the U-turn by the Hawks had damaged Grose’s reputation.

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“The City of Cape Town have released a number of extensive media statements on their internal findings on this matter. Sadly, a Hawks media blunder this week has caused significant confusion in the public domain.

’’As the constituency head for Durbanville, Blaauwberg and Atlantis, I will simply not allow the hard-earned reputations of any of our councillors to be impaired on the basis of politically motivated smear campaigns or incorrect reporting,” Powell said.

The GOOD party said it appeared as if the Hawks spokesperson mixed the cases.

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“The TERS case was always a separate case and I never understood from the evidence that the City or any councillor was involved in that case. It seems the Hawks spokesperson confused the two cases when they linked them in the statement. City food funds is still under investigation,” the party said.

“Her alleged fraud and money laundering of City food relief funds was picked up during a Hawks investigation of a TERS fraud investigation. The cases are separate. One involves TERS fraud and the other the unlawful diversion of city funds to a church.”

The City of Cape Town has said it found that Grose did nothing wrong. It would not reopen its investigation on the matter.

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