Moqhaka Manager remains behind bars

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Moqhaka Local Municipality’s Municipal Manager, Simon Mqwathi,
The Moqhaka Local Municipality’s Municipal Manager, Simon Mqwathi, will remain in custody until his next court appearance, which will be on Wednesday 5 June.

This comes after Mqwathi appeared at the Kroonstad Magistrate’s Court on Monday afternoon on charges related to fraud, corruption and defeating the ends of justice. He was arrested last week by Hawks after being on the run for more than a week after he failed to hand himself in at a police station in the town two weeks ago.

Hawks spokesperson, Lloyd Ramovha, previously told OFM News that Mqwathi was arrested after investigations showed that he has been implicated in a tender deal that he and other top municipal officials in other parts of the Free State were said to have benefitted from. His arrest comes after Dihlabeng municipal manager, Busa Molatsedi, as well as Tefo Montsitsi, who is the Director of a company known as ‘Zero Tolerance’, that allegedly received the tender in question fraudulently, were arrested a fortnight ago and charged with fraud and corruption. Molatsedi and Montsisi were each released on R10 000 bail. Mqwathi will know tomorrow whether he will get bail or not. Until then, he remains behind bars.

Meanwhile, the Executive Mayors of the troubled Dihlabeng and Moqhaka municipalities say they are confident the arrest of the managers won’t affect service delivery. The two managers are linked with a security tender which the police say was allegedly awarded fraudulently. Both Dihlabeng and Moqhaka municipal executive mayors, Lindiwe Makhalema and Lucky Phooko, say it would be business as usual at the municipalities and urged communities to let the police do their work.

Pulane Choane/ OFM News