Hawks seize luxury vehicle worth R1.4 million after allegations of corruption

The Hawks in Limpopo have seized a luxury vehicle worth R1.4 million in Mokopane as part of an ongoing investigation into allegations of corruption at Mogalakwena Municipality.

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Image via: SAPS

CORRUPTION REGARDING PURCHASE OF LUXURY VEHICLE 

The Serious Corruption Investigation team descended on a senior municipality official’s house on Tuesday morning 6 October and seized a luxury Mercedes-Benz worth R1.4 million.

“This comes in the wake of a 2018 investigation after the Hawks received information that business people allegedly deposited money into a vehicle dealership’s account for the official to purchase a vehicle of his choice as a gratification,” said Captain Matimba Maluleke. 

It is alleged that between 2017 and 2019, different companies were awarded tenders worth over R50 million by the municipality.  Investigations have so far revealed that most of the tenders were flawed and riddled with corruption.

The Hawks Priority Crime Specialised Investigation (Asset Forfeiture) successfully secured a Court Preservation Order on 30 September 2020 to seize the vehicle. Investigations are, in the meantime, still continuing.

“The preservation of property order was obtained as a result of excellent co-operation between the NPA and the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigations (Hawks). This case reinforces law enforcements’ commitment to ensuring that no person should benefit from crime,” said NPA Regional Spokesperson Mashudu Malabi Dzhangi. 

SARS OFFICIAL ARRESTED FOR CORRUPTION IN BLOEMFONTEIN

Apart from luxury vehicles being seized, a 39-year-old South African Revenue Service (SARS) official is expected to appear in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court for allegedly enticing and extorting a company director. 

“During February 2019, the company director was issued with a subpoena for outstanding tax returns and payments. In March of the same year, the company’s auditor liaised with the SARS official and all the necessary documents required were handed as arranged,” said Warrant Officer Lynda Steyn. 

It is alleged the business owner received several phone calls from the accused, requesting to meet him personally. The complainant met with the suspect, where he alleged that he could help the complainant resolve the outstanding tax assessments to disappear in return for a R20 000 gratification.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), on Monday, granted a directive and the complainant met with the suspect at the company offices, where an amount of R10 000 was agreed upon.   

“He was arrested at the spot for alleged corruption and extortion. His private vehicle, a Mercedes Benz sedan, was also seized during the operation,” added Steyn. 

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