Hawks raid legislature’s office

2018-03-07 06:00

The raid at the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature by the police’s Direc­torate of Special Crime Investigations (Hawks) is welcomed after serious allegations of corruption and wasteful expenditure were highlighted in October 2017.

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) welcomed Thursday (01/03) morning’s raid.

The search and seizure at the Legislature followed allegations against its secretary, Patric Moopelwa, who is accused of fraudulently benefitting from funds estimated at R600 000.

The funds in question relates to the non-pensionable allowance reportedly paid to the secretary – an amount of about R367 788,18 and a further R13 870,24 paid on a monthly basis.

Furthermore, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Garth Botha of the Legislature, was apparently paid a resignation allowance whilst still working for the Legislature.

He was also paid a study leave allo­wance which he did not qualify for. He allegedly presented his resignation papers from the Legislature to the South African Local Authorities Pension Fund (Sala), although he was promo­ted and had not resigned. The amount received by the CFO is reportedly estimated at R116 301,78.

No arrests have been made as yet and the investigation is ongoing.

The office of the speaker confirms that the Hawks raided the administrative offices of the Legislature on Thursday morning and pledged their full cooperation in this regard.

“Our officials will continue to fully cooperate with the Hawks,” said Mpho Masina, spokesperson for the Office of the Speaker. At this stage the office of the speaker deems it fit to reserve commenting on this matter until the investigation by the Hawks has been fully conclu­ded.

“We do not want to compromise the investigation in any way.”

Nehawu now appeal to the Hawks to also speed up the credit card fraud case, in which they say a travel agency is involved in, with an amount close to R2 million.

“This amount is related to foreign trips of people not known to the Legislature and also for accommodation paid by the Legislature without any form of approval. Some of the payments are without any invoices and it is not clear who received the payments. This case was reported by Nehawu to the Hawks in November 2017,” said Nehawu in a statement from Khaya Xaba, the media liaison officer. Nehawu vows their commitment to see this matter through and will not rest until those who have stolen from the Legislature are behind bars where they belong.

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