Hawks swoop on Karoo dorp after allegations of corruption around jobs

03 September 2019 - 17:26 By Bobby Jordan
Laingsburg mayor Mike Gouws with the Western Cape MEC for cultural affairs and sport, Anroux Marais. Police investigators raided Laingburg municipality on Tuesday after allegations of corruption within municipal ranks.
Laingsburg mayor Mike Gouws with the Western Cape MEC for cultural affairs and sport, Anroux Marais. Police investigators raided Laingburg municipality on Tuesday after allegations of corruption within municipal ranks.
Image: Western Cape provincial government

Police investigators swooped in the Karoo on Tuesday, confiscating computers and electronic devices at Laingsburg municipality.

The raid follows allegations of corruption within municipal ranks.

Hawks spokesperson Philani Nkwalase confirmed the raid, which he said was related to municipal appointments. The Hawks were expected to release a more detailed formal statement later.

Deidre Baartman, the DA constituency head for Laingsburg, welcomed the raid and called for speedy follow-up investigations “to prevent any interference with service delivery”.

The municipality, governed by the ANC under the leadership of mayor Mike Gouws, has suffered from political infighting, including a bitter internal power struggle within the ANC. 

At one stage Gouws was accused of assaulting deputy mayor Irene Brown, who was subsequently summoned to appear before an ANC disciplinary hearing in Cape Town.

Gouws denies assaulting Brown.

Earlier this year, the ANC also suspended one of its own councillors, Benny Kleinbooi, for alleged insubordination. At the time, Kleinbooi said he had merely tried to report alleged wrongdoing within the council.

In a statement on Tuesday, the DA said the Hawks raid would hopefully usher in an era of better leadership for the Karoo town.

“The people of Laingsburg deserve better leadership. They deserve leaders who can see beyond their own selfish needs and who can lead the town of Laingsburg into the future,” it said.

“The DA will monitor the progress of this investigation carefully and will provide full co-operation in order to bring stability and good governance to Laingsburg.”


X