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Hawks nab 3 EC government officials for fraud and corruption

The Serious Corruption Investigation of the Hawks arrested the suspects on Thursday morning in East London and Port Elizabeth respectively.

Handcuffs. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - Three government officials in the Eastern Cape have been arrested for fraud and corruption.

The Serious Corruption Investigation of the Hawks arrested the suspects on Thursday morning in East London and Port Elizabeth respectively.

Police said that between December 2017 and June 2018, Baxolile Ngoloyi (35), a systems controller at the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality’s health department, manipulated the department’s system by executing fraudulent payments to Simthembile Smith's (29) company even though the company never rendered any services for the department.

Approximately R120,000 was paid out to the company while the department stopped a payment of R140,000 before it could be made as the department suspected malpractice. The municipality reported the alleged crime to the Hawks in June 2018.

Baxolile Ngoloyi (35) and Simthembile Smith (29) appeared at the Specialised Commercial Crime Court in Port Elizabeth on Friday.

Ngoloyi and Smith were each granted R500 bail by the Specialised Commercial Crime court. Their next court appearance will be on the 17 February 2020.

In 2018 Samkelo Nkwateni (42), an administration clerk at the Department of Labour in East London, demanded payment from two businesspeople in exchange for a letter of good standing which the department in actual fact issues for free. One businessperson paid him R5,000 while the other one paid R3,000 for a letter.

The department reported the alleged crime to the Hawks during November 2018 and the latter swiftly commenced with its investigation.

Nkwateni’s will appear in the East London Magistrate’s Court on 3 February where he will be given the opportunity to apply for bail.