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Image via Twitter: SA Police Service

SIU, Hawks raid Matlosana Municipality and seize documents

The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) also known as the Hawks, and SIU have obtained computers and documents, as part of a probe into PPE corruption at Matlosana Local Municipality

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Image via Twitter: SA Police Service

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) and the Hawks have pounced once again, this time raiding the offices of Matlosana Local Municipality in Klerksdorp in the North West on the morning of Friday, 18 December 2020.

This was part of an extensive probe looking into alleged COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE) procurement corruption. In a statement, the SIU said it had approached the courts for a search and seizure warrant, as investigators were experiencing resistance from the municipality.

SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said they had received word from a whistleblower that officials at the municipality wanted to get rid of evidence in the form of documents and electronics.

“We requested for documents from this municipality and they were not forthcoming, and we also received information that some people wanted to destroy some of the information. We then came here and requested the magistrate to give us permission to seize the documents which was granted to us yesterday,” Kganyago said.

President Cyril Ramaphosa signed a proclamation in July, giving the greenlight for a probe into PPE procurement in State institutions.

PPE corruption: R47 million contracts awarded to friends, families of officials

The investigation at the municipality is in relation to R47 million, part of which may have been misused by officials in a lucrative tender.

“There were allegations that were given to us by whistleblowers and the indication was that there is corruption that is happening here at the Matlosana municipality, and we found that there have been some of those contracts that were given to people that are purported to be friends and families of some of the people here. In relation to 47 million that was spent on PPE here,”

SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago

The SIU said its investigation in Matlosana also focused on the contracting of goods, works and services.

“The investigation also looks at the construction, refurbishment, leasing, occupation and use of immovable property, during, or in respect of the national state of disaster by or on behalf of the municipality,” the unit said.

The SIU is also looking at payments made in a manner that was not fair, competitive, transparent, equitable or cost-effective. The probe will also examine if these were not contrary to applicable legislation, manuals, guidelines, practice notes, circulars or instructions issued by the National or Provincial Treasury.