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'This is the best thing ever': SA reacts to asbestos project arrests

01 October 2020 - 10:26 By cebelihle bhengu
The Hawks have arrested six people allegedly behind a corrupt asbestos audit project.
The Hawks have arrested six people allegedly behind a corrupt asbestos audit project.
Image: Supplied

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:

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