The Hawks’ Task Team established to tackle corruption at the municipalities has made another major breakthrough with the detection of corrupt activities at the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape.
Nadia Gerwel (51), Daniel John Watson (62), Mandisi Mkaza (54) and Joeleen Andrea Wessels (48) have appeared in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court on Friday, 31 March 2017 after they handed themselves over to the Hawks earlier on the day. The four are facing charges of corruption and money laundering.
The Hawks are investigating corrupt activities around the R208 million which the National Treasury had approved in 2007 for the improvement of the Integrated Public Transport System at the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality. Initial investigations have revealed that the four suspects have diverted an amount of R12 million and used it for personal gain.
The four were released on R2000 bail each and their case was postponed to 3 May 2017 to allow for further investigation. They were ordered to surrender their passports and to inform the Investigating Officer if they intend to travel abroad. The fifth suspect, who did not appear in court due to the fact that he was out of town, will join his counterparts on May the 3rd.
The National Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation Lieutenant General Mthandazo Ntlemeza has issued a strong warning to all public servants who ignore their responsibilities to provide basic services and use the public purse for personal gain that the Hawks are hot on their heels. “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”, warned Lieutenant General Ntlemeza.