Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has launched an investigation into allegations of corruption and money laundering against a DA politician in George. Picture: Henk Kruger African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town - Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has launched an investigation into allegations of corruption and money laundering against a DA politician in George.

This comes after leader of the Good party Patricia de Lille handed a dossier to the protector’s office in Cape Town in April, alleging a VBS-style investment scandal in George municipality’s funds and kick-backs.

A forensic investigation by a firm of attorneys pointed to irregular transfer of more than R350 million by the municipality to Old Mutual since 2017.

The public protector’s spokesperson, Oupa Segwale, confirmed a preliminary investigation was under way. “We requested a response and documentation from respondents.”

The office was still waiting to be furnished with the information.

The forensic report by Schroter & Associates Attorneys showed it had been instructed by municipal manager Trevor Botha to investigate incidents and actions by the municipality’s chief financial officer, Keith Jordaan, with regard to the Old Mutual investment.

Botha had indicated to the attorneys that he had been put under pressure to sign an agreement with Old Mutual, but questions arose when the municipality received invoices for commission.

It was alleged that handling fees of about R400000 were paid to the son of a councillor.

The report recommended disciplinary action be taken against Jordaan.

At the time, local government MEC Anton Bredell said De Lille’s claims were unfounded and provincial government had been aware of the claims for a while yet did not take action.

Bredell’s office would not comment on the investigations and the raids by Hawks on George municipality.

Jordaan was suspended last year, but cleared by the Speaker to return to work after a month despite the seriousness of the claims. He was suspended again this year in July.

Hawks regional spokesperson Philani Nkwalase confirmed that two raids were conducted at George Municipality, the first one related to procurement processes.

He said the investigation was at an advanced stage but no one had been arrested or charged yet.

The second raid, which took place shortly after Jordaan’s second suspension, was related to the appointment of a senior official, following allegations that due processes were not followed.

Nkwalase said the investigation was ongoing.

Weekend Argus