'This is the best thing ever': SA reacts to asbestos project arrests
The arrests of six individuals in connection with an alleged corrupt Free State asbestos audit project have given South Africans a glimmer of hope that the government is serious about rooting out corruption.
The Hawks on Wednesday nabbed suspects linked to the investigations into allegations of fraud, money laundering and corruption relating to the R255m project from 2014. The contract was awarded to Blackhead Consulting and Diamond Hill Trading, which were supposed to assess houses with asbestos roofing in the Free State.
Hawks spokesperson Brig Hangwani Mulaudzi said a seventh suspect from KwaZulu-Natal was on the run and unaccounted for on Wednesday, but the Hawks had secured a warrant of arrest in his name.
TimesLIVE reported that the KZN suspect is a recently appointed senior official at the Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone (RBIDZ).
Those in custody will appear in court in Bloemfontein on Friday.
“The accused face 60 charges which include corruption, fraud, money laundering, contravention of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act (Precca) as well as contravention of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA),” said Mulaudzi.
On Twitter, many applauded the Hawks for the arrests. Others shared their concerns that those arrested may get “preferential treatment” and said all individuals implicated in corruption must be punished equally.
Here's a look at some of the reactions:
PODCAST | Zondo Commission begins to bare fruit as asbestos audit arrests wow SA
Although the arrests for corruption are slowly taking place, with the arrests of those involved in the asbestos audit robbery in the FS, these arrests are still too slow and too few.— Errol (@errolbsk) September 30, 2020
Seeing Hawks nab all those corrupt individuals involved in the Asbestos deal is the best thing that has happened to SA, we want to see more of these arrests— Zolani Qetsele (@Zolani_Qetsele) October 1, 2020
Hawks are currently making arrests but let's hope that there won't be preferential treatment on arrests.— Nicky Michele (@nicky_michele) September 30, 2020