Five Free State municipal employees in court on fraud, forgery charges

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The accused, aged 36 to 55, are being investigated by the Hawks as part of an ongoing probe into corruption at municipalities around the country.
The accused, aged 36 to 55, are being investigated by the Hawks as part of an ongoing probe into corruption at municipalities around the country.
Tiro Ramatlhatse, Gallo Images, Sowetan

Five Free State municipal employees have been arrested during an operation by the Hawks' National Clean Audit Task Team.

The five, all employed at the Matjhabeng Local Municipality, were arrested and appeared in court on Tuesday.

The accused, aged 36 to 55, are being investigated by the Hawks as part of an ongoing probe into corruption at municipalities around the country.

They have allegedly been linked to fraud, forgery and contravening the Municipal Finance Management Act.

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"It is reported that one of the suspects facilitated the appointments of the other accused, which resulted in the municipality being prejudiced of an actual loss of over R1 million," Hawks spokesperson Colonel Katlego Mogale said.

The accused were all granted bail with strict conditions that included that they do not enter any municipal premises.

Tumelo Makofane, 55, was granted R15 000 bail. Izizwezidibene Lawrance Springkaan, 36; Gloria Constans Smith, 48; and Tiisetso Manuel Mahlatsi, 52, were granted R8 000 bail each. Mantoa Yvonne Mahloko, 43, was granted R10 000 bail.

The case was postponed to 4 May for further investigation.

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