Free State health MEC hands himself over to Hawks

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SABRINA DEAN – Free State Health MEC Bennie Malokoane handed himself over to the Hawks in Welkom yesterday in connection with corruption charges dating from his time as municipal manager of the Matjhabeng Municipality.
Hawks spokesperson Paul Ramoloko said Malokoane, current CFO Louis de Bruin, his PA Leona Nel and three company directors were arrested yesterday and released on bail. The case was postponed to 12 November.
“They handed themselves over after alleged fraud, corruption, money laundering and contravention of the Municipal Finances Management Act,” he said.
He said the crimes were committed between 2007 and 2010 when Malakoane was Municipal Manager at Matjhabeng Municipality.
Ramoloko said companies under investigation are Gestetner, Quit Cell and Pole Adds, with allegations including kickbacks to the tune of some R13-million for irregularly awarded contracts.
The Free State Government meanwhile says Malakoane will remain at the helm of the health department for now. Spokesperson Mondli Mvambi said Free State Premier Ace Magashule will apply his mind to the issues and he will be the one to announce any changes to the current status quo.
He says we live in a Constitutional democracy and the law must take its course. “He informed us that he handed himself over in respect of issues that happened in Matjhabeng Municipality some time ago and Dr Malakoane is handling the matter himself,” he said.
Mvambi reiterated that Malakoane remains innocent until proven guilty beyond any reasonable doubt. “The processes of the law will take their own course in a fair manner without any prejudice and we hope that justice will prevail,” he said.