JOHANNESBURG, February 6 – Seven people aged between 78 and 50 years old were arrested on Wednesday by the police’s Directorate for Priority Investigations, known as the Hawks, on allegations of corruption, money laundering and fraud involving the prisons department and Bosasa, the unit said.
“The sweeping high-profile arrests follows a marathon investigation wherein almost R1.6 Billion is said to have been misappropriated in the tender processes for the procurement of various services by the Department of Correctional Services,” the Hawks said in a statement.
“The tenders were awarded to Bosasa Operations (Pty) Ltd and its affiliated or subsidiary companies.”
Five of those arrested are expected to appear on Wednesday at the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court.
“It is alleged that the officials received and accepted gifts in the form of cash, they also allegedly received financial assistance in acquiring properties, acquiring motor vehicles from dealers, other assets and payments to travel agents for overseas travel,” the Hawks said.
One of the suspects was overseas but had been informed that there was a warrant for his arrest, the statement added. Another was in Port Elizabeth and efforts were underway to bring him to Pretoria to face charges.
Bosasa employees testifying before a commission probing state capture, including former chief operations officer Angelo Agrizzi, have detailed bribes paid to public officials and security upgrades installed for senior officials of the ruling ANC party as incentives to help the company win tenders.
Haws national head Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya welcomed Wednesday’s arrests.
“I appreciate that the attendance of the accused in court is finally secured,” Lebeya said.
“It is a step in the right direction and I am looking forward to the proper conclusion of the matter with a verdict in court.”
– African News Agency (ANA)