Hawks investigate four W Cape municipalities for fraud, racketeering and corruption

Hawks swoop in on George, Kannaland, Beaufort West and Oudtshoorn.

The Hawks are investigating four municipalities in the Western Cape – George, Kannaland, Beaufort West and Oudtshoorn – for fraud, racketeering and corruption.

Disputing earlier reports that 11 municipalities were being probed, Democratic Alliance (DA) member of the provincial parliament, Masizole Mnqasela, on Friday said: “It is in fact only four.”

“George, where a raid by the Hawks took place in April, is being investigated for alleged fraud and corruption, Kannaland for alleged racketeering, while Oudtshoorn and Beaufort West, for alleged fraud and corruption,” said Mnqasela.

He said “it must be noted” that the investigations at Kannaland, Oudtshoorn, and Beaufort West, were linked to matters that arose prior to the 2016 local government elections.

“I once again commend Minister Anton Bredell and the department of local government, who proactively provided information about the allegations at the George Municipality to the Hawks, who within eight days, after the meeting, raided the George Municipality,” said Mnqasela.

“We are determined to eradicate any form of maladministration in all municipalities, as it is the primary responsibility of these authorities to ensure that residents have access to all basic services.

“It is completely unacceptable that funds that should be appropriated for the improvement of the lives of residents are allegedly being used to enrich a few.”

He said the department of local government was investigating impropriety allegations in the Bitou Municipality around the appointment of the head of corporate service. Cederberg Municipality is being probed for alleged tender irregularities on grant funding, and Stellenbosch Municipality over similar irregularities.

“It is further pleasing to note that the department has also referred supply chain challenges in the Theewaterskloof Municipality to Provincial Treasury for further investigation and support, and the alleged sale of public land in the Langeberg Municipality to the department of the premier’s legal services for further investigation,” said Mnqasela.

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