Hawks swoop in North West, arresting and charging hundreds of corruption suspects

North West is the focal point of more than 50 criminal cases involving the theft of public money. Hawks’ national head Lt-Gen Godfrey Lebeya highlighted three cases in this province while giving an update on the agency’s successes.
Hawks head, Lt-Gen Godfrey Lebeya, briefed the media on Thursday, 29 November in Tshwane on the agency’s successes during the second quarter of this financial year.
According to his report, the Hawks arrested 827 suspects who appeared in courts across the country. During the same period, 217 accused were convicted and sentenced.
“The Directorate [for Priority Crime Investigation] has observed that corruption remains one of the most serious threats posed by criminals in our beloved country. It facilitates the movement of illicit financial funds, prompting our response to focus on money laundering charges stemming from criminal investigations.
“Corruption cases are a special breed in that they are committed in secret by consenting parties, necessitating extensive investigation to unearth such cases. It facilitates the movement of illicit financial funds, prompting our response to focus on money laundering charges stemming from criminal investigations.” reads his report.
Top three cases
Lebeya highlighted three North West cases — the R400-million SA Express tender corruption; Pogisho Patrick Shikwane, former acting municipal manager of the Bojanala District Municipality who faces corruption charges involving R2.4-million; and former Rustenberg municipal manager Nqobile Sithole for contraventions of the Municipal Finance Management Act relating to R11-million in tender fraud.
The suspects in the R400-million SA Express tender corruption case — Tebogo van Wyk, Nothando Dube, Sipho Levy Phiri and Thabang Mohlokoleng, along with Batsamai Investment Holdings, Sevilex Investment Holdings and Lavao Estevao — made their second appearance in the Molopo Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.
NPA North West spokesperson, Henry Mamothame, said the matter had been postponed to 30 March 2023, awaiting the outcome of the application made to the office of the National Director of Public Prosecutions for more charges of racketeering to be added.
The State also wants the matter to be centralised, as some offences were committed in Gauteng.
Read more in Daily Maverick: “Four suspects charged in North West court over dubious multimillion-rand SA Express contract”
According to Lebeya’s report, in September this year, Shikwane was arrested in connection with a R2.4-million tender fraud. He has appeared in the Rustenburg Magistrates’ Court and is on R10,000 bail.
The matter stems from irregularities in December 2017. Shikwane is said to have appointed a company called Big Time Strategy to provide information communication ...