A former mayor and municipal manager were on Monday arrested by the Hawks for inappropriately administering state funds into the Venda Mutual Bank on behalf of the Thulamela Local Municipality.
On Monday, Hawks spokesperson Colonel Katlego Mogale said the two suspects, aged 49 and 52, were expected to appear in the Thohoyandou Magistrate’s court on Tuesday, following their arrests on allegations of corruption and maladministration.
She said the arrests were a culmination of an intensive prosecution-aimed investigation by the Hawks’ Serious Corruption Investigation unit into the inappropriate administering of state funds into the Venda Mutual Bank by the Thulamela Local Municipality.
“The investigation revealed that the municipality invested an amount of R30 million into VBS.”
The suspects are a former mayor who accepted a Jeep Cherokee valued at over R638 000 through a well-known VBS money laundering third party and the municipal manager who invested the R30 million of the municipality money into VBS in contravention of the Municipal Finance Act, she said.
National Hawks head Lt Gen Godfrey Lebeya said: “I have indicated that the investigations on the municipalities are at an advanced stage. This is the beginning and all the other cases are receiving the necessary attention.”
So far, at least 25 people have been arrested and are in the criminal justice system. They face more than 100 charges. More suspects are expected to be arrested during the course of the investigation as about 20 municipalities in Limpopo, North West, and Gauteng, lost nearly R1.6 billion, after illegally investing with the bank.