City has highest number of municipal corruption cases under police investigation

City has highest number of municipal corruption cases under police investigation

City has highest number of municipal corruption cases under police investigation

Cape Town – Cape Town has South Africa’s highest number of municipal corruption cases under investigation by the police, with four out of the 14 cases registered across the country in Cape Town.

Of the 14 cases, five are in KwaZulu-Natal, one in Limpopo and eight in the Western Cape. Four of the 14 investigations are on the court roll, while the remaining 10 are under investigation.

This was revealed during an update to Parliament’s portfolio committee on co-operative governance and traditional affairs by law enforcement agencies. The agencies had updates on corruption cases under investigation at municipalities.

Also briefing the committee were the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations (Hawks), the Special Investigating Unit, and the National Prosecuting Authority.

SAPS Detective and Forensic Services officer Lesley Magson told the meeting that some of the cases in the city dated back more than a decade.

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One of the four Cape Town cases Magson mentioned was the construction tender fraud case which is before the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court.

It involves directors and employees of Ilitha Painters and Decorators, trading as The Construction Company, and two City officials.

“A construction service provider was awarded a tender as the main contractor, which from time to time would require the services of sub-contractors. It is alleged that the service provider submitted false and/or fraudulent quotations or inflated the invoices to the City of Cape Town valued at R11.5 million,” Magson said.

In another matter, City employees received gratification in the form of holidays, hotel accommodation and airline tickets from Bosasa in 2013.

“Bosasa was awarded a tender in 2010 at the City valued at about R100000,” Magson said.

Another pending case involves a councillor and Mayco member who allegedly abused his position to have City contracts or tenders awarded to identified companies or service providers in return for gratification.

In the fourth case, the complainant alleges that contracts of the City were awarded illegally. The complainant also alleges the mayor, Mayco members and senior directors failed to report the irregularities in terms of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act after the irregularities were brought to their attention.

Committee chairperson Fikile Xasa (ANC) said citizens were fed up with municipal officials stealing money and other resources earmarked for service delivery, and continuing to do so without arrest.

“Or, if they are arrested, they return to their jobs in the municipality and continue to steal with impunity because of insufficient evidence to secure prosecution,” he said.

Director of Public Prosecutions advocate Shamila Batohi told the committee that out of 22 cases involving serious crimes committed in municipalities, 11 were before the courts.

FF Plus MP and Cogta spokesperson Michael Groenewald took issue with the fact that neither the ministers of justice, Ronald Lamola, police, Bheki Cele, and Cogta, Thembi Nkadimeng, nor their deputies attended the meeting.

Groenewald said: “It either demonstrates being in a state of denial, or it points to an ANC government that refuses to take responsibility for the decline and corruption destroying basic service delivery to South Africans under ANC rule.”