The Hawks' severe corruption investigation team in Limpopo detained 13 persons at the municipality's headquarters on Monday morning, including senior Mogalakwena Local Municipality officials and company directors.
Eleven companies linked to the suspects are also being investigated by the Hawks. The arrests are the result of an ongoing investigation into charges of municipal corruption.
The officials are accused of accepting bribes from service providers and businesses for services that were not performed.Captain Matimba Maluleke of the Hawks claimed that the municipality had lost over R15 million as a result of the illicit operations.
Maluleke added, "We also seized a BMW 1 series, which is considered to be a gift for one of the suspect's girlfriends."For months, residents have pleaded with police to investigate the troubled municipality, with disgruntled members of the South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco), Mogalakwena Concerned and Affected Communities (MCAC), and Mokopane Task Team (MTT) eventually taking their grievances to Parliament.
President Cyril Ramaphosa made a proclamation in March authorizing the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) to examine the Mogalakwena Local Municipality and recover losses incurred by the municipality or the state.
The investigation is still ongoing, and the suspects should appear in court within the next 48 hours.
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