News / South Africa

Alex Japho Matlala
2 minute read
24 Nov 2018
6:20 am

Hawks bust nine suspects in Limpopo for graft, fraud

Alex Japho Matlala

Five of the suspects allegedly approved and issued liquor licences without following due procedures, after asking for huge bribes from applicants.

Police line. File picture

A week-long operation by the Hawks’ serious corruption investigation unit in collaboration with the Limpopo department of economic development, environment and tourism has culminated in the arrest of nine suspects yesterday for alleged corruption and fraud.

In the first case, five suspects – four department officials on the Liquor Licence Board and an SA Police Service-Tubatse officer – were arrested following allegations that they approved and issued liquor licences without following due procedures.

Police said yesterday that the five allegedly colluded between 2012 and 2017, and demanded huge bribes from potential applicants.

They said the suspects were summoned to appear before the Praktiseer and Sekhukhune magistrate courts on December 14 on corruption and fraud charges.

Limpopo Hawks spokesperson Captain Matimba Maluleke said in the second incident, police arrested a deputy director at Kutama Sinthumule Correctional Centre and his accomplice for alleged fraud and corruption in Thohoyandou and Polokwane respectively.

“It was found that the deputy director who is a procurement officer at the correctional centre colluded with his accomplice, a businessperson from Polokwane, to overprice goods exorbitantly in return for kickbacks,” he said. “The pair is expected to appear at Makhado Magistrate’s Court on December 11.”

Maluleke said in Morebeng, prosecutor Molatelo Serumule, 46 was also arrested at his workplace following allegations of corruption, fraud and defeating the ends of justice.

“It is alleged that Serumule approached a suspect and demanded a bribe in order to make his case vanish,” said Maluleke. He was arrested by the Hawks on Monday.

“Serumule has since appeared at Morebeng Magistrate’s Court and was released on R1 000 bail. His case was postponed to January 18.”

A 33-year-old cleaner at Mecklenburg Hospital in Burgersfort was also arrested for corruption, said Maluleke.

In 2015, the provincial health department advertised positions and the woman seized the opportunity to allegedly swindle job seekers.

She will appear in the Praktiseer Magistrate’s Court on December 12.

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