National News/ 12 October 2023, 15:58pm/ Mandla Nkosi
By Mandla Nkosi: The Free State MEC for Social Development, Motshidisi Koloi, was reportedly arrested by the Hawks, South Africa’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, on Thursday, October 12.
This arrest follows allegations of fraud, corruption, money laundering, and violations of the Municipal Finance Management Act during Koloi’s tenure as the mayor of the Moqhaka Municipality.
An anonymous source revealed to FS Insider that the arrest is connected to Koloi’s time as mayor in 2017. When asked to confirm the arrest, official representatives stated they were not aware of it, but promised any details would be released via a press statement.
In a vague statement, Hawks spokesperson Zweli Mohobeleli confirmed that a Member of the Executive Council, a political advisor to the Matjhabeng Local Municipality, and a Chief Director are due to appear before the Kroonstad Magistrate’s Court on Friday, October 13. While Mohobeleli did not name names, the timing and the charges suggest a link to Koloi’s arrest.
The allegations revolve around a 2017 incident in which it is claimed that the three suspects colluded to misappropriate over R150,000 belonging to the Moqhaka Local Municipality. The suspects allegedly claimed the funds would be used to purchase a sound system for a Nelson Mandela memorial lecture. This event, however, never occurred, despite funds being withdrawn from the municipal bank account.
“The matter emanates from a 2017 incident when the MEC was still the Executive Mayor,” explained Mohobeleli. “It is alleged that the three suspects colluded to take over R150,000 belonging to Moqhaka Local Municipality under the guise that the money would be spent on a sound system to be used during a Nelson Mandela memorial lecture. This event never took place despite money having been used from the municipal bank account.”
Koloi and the other suspects were arrested by members of the Hawks’ Serious Corruption Investigation Unit based in Bloemfontein. As the case unfolds, the public awaits further details from the Hawks and the outcome of the court proceedings.