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South Africa Arrests Local Government Official For R4.8M theft1 minute read



South African detectives have arrested a senior local government official over the alleged theft of R4.8-million (about $291,626).

The Hawks investigators alleged that the senior official, 53, from the Molemole Local Municipality in Limpopo used his position to conspire with others to award a farming tender to a company linked to his wife without following due processes.

The detectives further alleged that the company never rendered any service to the community despite having received over R4.8-million.

The suspect was arrested on Friday at a restaurant in Polokwane and taken to a nearby police station.

In a video of the arrest, the suspect was seen being handcuffed inside the restaurant by several plainclothes officers and then loaded into a waiting car.

A statement released by the Hawks says he will appear in the Polokwane Magistrates’ Court tomorrow (Monday) to face theft charges.

“The Hawks received a tip-off in 2018 about theft of money at Makgatho Community Property Association by some of the committee members,” spokesperson Captain Matimba Maluleke explained.

“The investigation revealed that between 2015 and 2018, the suspect was mentoring a community association and allegedly connived with other committee members of the association to award a farming tender to a company linked to his wife.”

Additional suspects linked to the case are still being pursued, the statement said.

The Acting Provincial Head of the Hawks, Brigadier Thabo Ramela has welcomed the arrest and issued a warning to all government officials that theft of public money will not be tolerated.

“We will investigate without fear or favour and bring those who are implicated to book” Ramela said.


South Africa’s Police Arrest Public Officials For Inflating Project Costs



South African authorities have arrested four former public officials for inflating the cost of a prjoect.

The Hawks, on Thursday, arrested former senior Gauteng Department of Health officials for alleged R1.2 billion tender irregularities committed almost 13 years ago.

The arrested are a former head of department who was also an accounting officer at the time; chief director of information communication and technology; head of supply chain management; and the deputy director for executive support.

They are accused of receiving kickbacks for their role in ensuring the contract was awarded to an undeserving entity and have been charged with fraud, corruption, money laundering and contravention of the Public Finance Management Act.

Police say the case emanates from February 2007 where the State Information Technology Agency (Sita) submitted a proposal to continue with an information technology maintenance programme at the department.

The Hawks’ Lieutenant Colonel Philani Nkwalase said the total cost of a project like that was not meant to be over R57 million for a period of three years.

“The contract was instead awarded to a private entity at a whopping cost of around R1.2 billion without following due tender procedures.

“Two private company directors who unduly benefited from the tender are yet to be charged along together with their two companies. The said directors are reportedly outside of the country but steps have already been initiated to ensure that they are accounted for,” Nkwalase said.

The four appeared in the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crime Court on Thursday.

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Burundi Ex-President Rejects Conviction for Murder



Buoy Rejects Murder conviction

Former Burundian President Pierre Buyoya, who is the current High Representative of the African Union for Mali and the Sahel, has rejected his conviction in absentia in Burundi to life imprisonment.

He was convicted of the murder of his predecessor Melchior Ndadaye in 1993.

Melchior Ndadaye, Burundi’s first democratically elected president and the first Hutu to come to power, was assassinated in October 1993 in a military coup that led the country into a civil war between the army.

This resulted in 300,000 deaths until 2006.

Buyoya was convicted of an attack against the head of state, an attack against the authority of the state and an attack tending to bring about massacre and devastation.

Eighteen senior military and civilian officials close to the former head of state were given same sentence. Three others were sent to 20 years in prison for “complicity” in the same crimes and only one, the former transitional Prime Minister, Antoine Nduwayo, was acquitted.

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Nigerians In South Africa Protest Killing Of #EndSARS Protesters



Thousands of Nigerians based in South Africa on Wednesday took to the streets of Praetoria in solidarity with youths in Nigeria who have been protesting police brutality and misgovernance in the last two weeks.

Led by the President of Nigeria Union South Africa (NUSA), Adetola Olubajo, they called on President Muhammadu Buhari, Inspector-General of Police and Service Chiefs to stand down the army and the police that were actually using excessive force so that there would not be more casualties.

The protesters marched to the High Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in Arcadia, Pretoria, where the handed over a Memorandum to the high commissioner for onward transmission to the Presidency.

Part of the memorandum contained a 23-point list of what the youths want the government to do before they would call off the strike.

Olubajo said their protest, which had Nigerians from many provinces of that country, was peaceful and that another was organised in Cape Town where the High Commission is situated.

“The Nigerians in South Africa are standing in solidarity with the youth in Nigeria who have been protesting in the past two weeks.

“We have submitted a memorandum to the Presidency, the Senate and the House of Representatives, and we expressed our displeasure at the way the government is using the army to disperse peaceful protesters.

“It’s the right of every citizen to protest, and the protest has been peaceful until the army decided to open live fire on the protesters.

“We urge President Muhammadu Buhari and top security officers like the Inspector-General of Police and Service Chiefs to please stand down the army and the police that were actually using excessive force so that there would not be more casualties,’’ Olubajo said.

He said the government should listen to the youth and come out with a genuine roadmap and actions that would enable youths to trust them and believe that they are solving their problems.

“We are aware that government cannot solve all the problems just like that like a magician, but it needs to have genuine commitment that will enable the youth to trust the words of the government.

“And one of their demands is that the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (F-SARS) should be disbanded and we have watched with consternation and followed the unpleasant scenarios in our country.

“Something should be done in order not to aggravate the situation. Government should carefully listen to the youth and critically analyse the current demands as it is elsewhere around the world.’’

Olubajo said the youth had expressed their frustrations at misgovernance and the insensitivity of the government to many burning national issues such as the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and police brutality among others.

“Government should comprehensively look at these demands and address them as soon as possible.

“The Nigerian community in South Africa pledges its support and solidarity with Nigerian youths,’’ he said.

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