BuzzSouthAfrica learnt that the Hawks’ Task Team created to fight corruption at municipalities busted five Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality officials who diverted public funds for their personal gain.
After Hawks detected the corrupt activities of the five officials, they dragged the officials to Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court.
SAPS related that Nadia Gerwel (51), Daniel John Watson (62), Mandisi Mkaza (54) and Joeleen Andrea Wessels (48) appeared before the court today after they handed themselves over to the Hawks.
The officials are facing charges of corruption and money laundering. They were released on R2000 bail each after their case was postponed to 3 May 2017 to allow for further investigation.
Meanwhile, they were ordered to surrender their passports and to inform the Investigating Officer if they intend to travel abroad. SAPS said the fifth suspect who did not appear in court because he was out of town, will join his counterparts on 3rd May.
The charges of corruption and money laundering against the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality officials follows Hawks investigation of corrupt activities surrounding the R208 million the National Treasury approved in 2007 for the improvement of the Integrated Public Transport System at the Municipality.
Initial investigations, according to SAPS, revealed that the officials diverted an amount of R12 million and used it for personal gain.
Commenting on this, the National Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation Lieutenant General Mthandazo Ntlemeza warned public servants not to ignore their responsibilities of providing basic services and use the public purse for personal gain.
He promised that the Hawks would always come for corrupt public servants.
“The claws of the Hawks are all out for all those who continue to rob innocent citizens of their deserved basic services and their days of enriching themselves with government money are over.
“The Hawks have declared war against corruption in municipalities all over the country and whosoever is involved in illegal activities rather stop now or risk feeling the sting of the Hawks,” Lieutenant General Ntlemeza warned.