Limpopo premier’s office rocked by two graft probes

Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha. Picture: Gallo Images

Five days after the Hawks raided Mathabatha’s office, an internal probe into allegations of corruption in the supply chain management’s office was launched.

The Limpopo premier’s office has been rocked by two corruption investigations in a week.

Last week, 20 Hawks officials walked unannounced into Premier Stan Mathabatha’s office at Mowaneng House in Polokwane and confiscated computers and files.

The raid came amid allegations that certain officials in Mathabatha’s office colluded with travel agencies to inflate prices when the office undertook international trips.

Two agencies, which allegedly facilitate the premier’s international trips, were also raided on the day.

Acting provincial government spokesperson Kenny Mathivha said Mathabatha’s office welcomed the investigations.

“We hold a belief that the investigations would assist to clean up possible corruption at the provincial government,” he said. “We would like to state it categorically that the office of the premier will not tolerate corruption.”

Hardly five days after the start of the Hawks investigations, Mathivha said that Mathabatha’s office had also launched internal probes into allegations of corruption in the supply chain management’s office.

“The premier’s office investigations are around a union shop steward, who was acting director for procurement between 2013 and 2015, who allegedly awarded his wife a catering tender,” he said.

“The awarding of the tender was found to be in contravention of the supply chain management policies, as that was tantamount to conflict of interest.

“As if that was not enough, the same [shop steward] official had allegedly given his girlfriend questions and responses to an interview which she was scheduled to attend,” Mathivha added. “The girlfriend was ultimately awarded the job, but after two years of service she resigned out of pressure from other unions.”

Mathivha said in the provincial government’s 2016-17 financial year, the same union official had claimed travel expenses to a June 16 event he did not attend.

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