The Hawks, as part of an ongoing investigation into alleged fraud, corruption and money laundering, came down hard on several officials from the eThekwini Municipality Water and Sanitation Unit, as well as, service providers.
According to the Hawks, a simultaneous search and seizure operation was conducted on Tuesday 15 September at 15 premises in Durban and surrounding areas.
ETHEKWINI MUNICIPALITY: A FURTHER R500 ALLEGEDLY EMBEZZLED
The National Clean Audit Task Team of the Hawks, in June 2020, discovered that R200 million was allegedly siphoned from the municipality.
“It has now been determined that a further R500 million has allegedly been embezzled from the department,” said Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi.
It is alleged the R700 million are proceeds of crime derived from service providers who were supposed to be rendering services for the water and sanitation unit and claimed to have provided such services while they were in fact not carried out.
Misrepresentations were allegedly made to the municipality and in some instances, no authorised signatures as per requirement for approval were endorsed on the invoices.
“Despite the alleged falsification of documents, payments were approved and significant amounts of monies were allegedly channelled to officials for their own benefit,” added Mulaudzi.
During the operation which also comprised the Hawks Digital Forensic Laboratory, Priority Crime Specialised Investigation, SAPS Crime Scene Management and the National Intervention Unit, various items including a number of laptops, desktops, hard drives, cellphones, bank cards from different banks, company details, invoices and company registration documents were seized for analysis.
No arrests have been made as yet, as investigations are still continuing.
ZANDILE GUMEDE SAYS ANC IS UNDER ATTACK
Controversial ex eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede recently said the African National Congress is under attack.
“We are at war and it’s not a war against Zandile but the war is attacking the African National Congress,” she said.
Gumede and 16 others, including suspended city manager Sipho Nzuza, face corruption charges involving a R430 million waste collection tender dating back to 2017. She was arrested in 2019 and was subsequently granted R50 000 bail.
The former mayor and her supporters claim the charges are politically motivated and that she is under siege because she is a woman.
“That’s why I’m saying the ANC members in Durban and other regions if they stand up, stand up against cases such as these ones, they will save the ANC,” she said.