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Mpumalanga municipal officials arrested

2012-10-17 17:40

Johannesburg - The Hawks have arrested four Thaba Chweu municipal officials for corruption involving R3.2m, the Democratic Alliance said on Wednesday.

"The DA is extremely pleased that residents will finally have some form of closure around the misappropriation of their hard-earned taxes, and sincerely hopes that it would send out a strong message to local government," local DA councillor Sonja Boshoff said in a statement.

Hawks spokesperson Colonel McIntosh Polela confirmed the four were arrested on Tuesday.

Boshoff said the missing funds allegedly resulted from the municipality's then-chief financial officer Paul Mpele giving other people access to his bank account, who then transferred the money out over an Easter weekend, outside business hours.

Mpele denied knowledge of the transactions and said he was on leave.

Boshoff countered that Mpele was at work at the time of the transactions.

She said the arrests were the result of criminal charges the party laid in April 2009.

"While we trust that justice will prevail in this case, we hope that this will lead to more light being shed on many other cases of financial mismanagement in Thaba Chweu," Boshoff said.

Thaba Chweu is part of the Ehlanzeni district municipality in Mpumalanga.