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Former ANC heavyweight to be arrested for decade old graft claims

Brian Hlongwa, the former Gauteng Health MEC, is set to be arrested this week on corruption charges stretching back more than a decade. While the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) refused to comment on Saturday, well-placed sources inside the country's criminal justice system revealed to The Citizen earlier this week that arrest warrants had been issued for Hlongwa and a number of other persons and companies.

The Citizen knows his camp has been notified, but Hlongwa stated on Saturday that he was unaware of his impending arrest. "I have not received any information," he said.

"This problem has been dragging on for a long time. As I have not heard from anybody to yet, I am unable to comment. It is the year 2021, and between 2006 and 2009, I served as a MEC. Since then, there have been investigations... This is the first time I've heard this." Meanwhile, according to a City Press article earlier this year, Hlongwa and his soon-to-be co-accused may face racketeering charges.

The warrants are due to be issued early next week, with the accused scheduled to appear in the Johannesburg Regional Court. A Special Investigating Unit (SIU) report made public in 2018 implicated Hlongwa in charges of bribery involving the granting of R1.2 billion in government contracts to a firm named 3P Consulting — owned by businessman Richard Payne, a known ally of Hlongwa.

The Bryanston home purchased by former Gauteng Health MEC Brian Hlongwa in 2007. There are several charges against this home, including that he purchased it, demolished it, and began constructing this new one via a corrupt connection with Health department vendors. In 2014, the Johannesburg High Court issued a preservation order for alleged profits of crime. Hlongwa is believed to have received around R12 million in false payments, which allowed him to begin construction on this property. According to the DA, the total money lost to corruption during his tenure as Health Minister might be as high as R2 billion. McCartney, Neil

According to the investigation, Hlongwa – who was in charge of the province's healthcare at the time – benefited financially from the illicit deals via luxurious spa treatments, holidays, and a multi-million-rand deposit on a lavish Bryanston mansion. However, it has taken years for him to be removed, and in the meanwhile, he has resigned from his post as MEC in response to requests for his removal.

Additionally, the TAC has requested a discussion in the legislature about Brian Hlongwa. Sybil Ngcobo, Mmakgosi Mosupi, Valdis Romaano, and Obakeng Mookeletsi — four other top departmental employees mentioned in the SIU investigation – were arrested and charged with corruption and violating the Public Finance Management Act last year.

Sybil Ngcobo, Mmakgosi Mosupi, Valdis Romaano, and Obakeng Mookeletsi, all former top government officials, will appear in Palm Ridge Magistrates Court in Johannesburg on 22 October 2020 on accusations pertaining to a 1.2 billion deal given during Brian Hlongwa's tenure as Gauteng Health MEC. Sybil Ngcobo was freed on R8,000 bail, while three others were released on R25,000 bail. Nigel Sibanda Photographs

They were given bail in sums ranging from R8 000 to R25 000. Payne and businessman Phil Austin (who was also charged) were supposed to be arrested concurrently, but their arrest warrants could not be served since they were out of the country. However, it has subsequently been revealed that extradition proceedings against Payne were beginning.

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Brian Hlongwa to be arrested for graft related to R1,2 billion in shady deals (citizen.co.za)

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ANC Brian Hlongwa Gauteng Health MEC Hlongwa NPA

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