Hawks pounce on eThekwini officials investigated for R200m graft
The Hawks national clean audit task team have conducted search and seizure operations at the homes of eThekwini municipal officials alleged to be involved in fraud, corruption and money laundering to the tune of R200m.
Hawks spokesperson Brig Hangwani Mulaudzi said the operation on Thursday morning followed allegations of the awarding of tenders by the municipality without following due processes.
"Since 2016 to date, various companies and other service providers allegedly colluded with municipal officials and were paid millions for fictitious work."
Mulaudzi said it was alleged municipal officials endorsed certain companies and registered fictitious businesses in order for them to be awarded lucrative tenders, thus benefiting from unlawful and fraudulent payments.
"Most of the companies were not registered on the municipality's database."
He said the operation was successful and led to the seizure of a number of documents and electronic equipment which would assist in the ongoing investigation.
"No arrests were effected, pending investigations which are at an advanced stage."
The raid took place just hours before former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede appeared in the Durban Commercial Crimes court with her co-accused on charges of fraud and corruption related to a R430m Durban Solid Waste tender awarded in 2016.
The case was postponed to September 10, when the state is expected to finalise its investigations or face the prospect of having the matter struck off the roll, as cited by Gumede's attorney, Advocate Jay Naidoo.