Hawks set their sights on municipal corruption

Hawks set their sights on municipal corruption

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GK CRONJE

16 March 2021

Some tenders were accepted and fully paid before any form of service was rendered, with cost of millions toward the state.

Amidst the rising red flags of municipal corruption in Mpumalanga, especially regarding the issues of service deliver failure, the Hawks Serious Commercial Crime Investigation Mpumalanga have decided to initiate an array of operations. The lack of service delivery and financial woes withing local municipalities are often attributed to corrupt tender processes, where unfathomable amounts are paid to tenderpreneurs, who maostly fail to deliver the service promises, or who are paid in full, en completely fail to render any form of service. Members of the Hawks Serious Commercial Crime Investigation Mpumalanga, assisted by Volkrust Local Criminal Centre and K9 Unit Secunda, conducted a search and seizure operation at Dr. Pixley Ka Isaka Seme Municipality in Volkrust on Thursday, 11 March 2021.

The investigation was carried out by the Hawks Serious Commercial Crime Investigation Mpumalanga after several complaints were received regarding service delivery failure. Preliminary investigations by the team revealed that tender processes within the municipality was not properly followed, and the team pounced with a search and seizure warrant  from the Magistrate. During investigation, suspicious irregularities and discrepancies were identified regarding tender awarding processes, whereby tenders were awarded to companies, which were paid without following proper procedure. Some tenders were accepted and fully paid before any form of service was rendered, with cost of millions toward the state.

The team acquired tender documents awarded for certain companies during a particular period, to investigate suspected cases of theft , fraud and corruption. This should be a warning to all municipalities who dabble in corrupt activities and dubious tenderpreneuring, where service delivery is lacking due to said corruption.