Hawks raid offices of North West premier
A large team of Hawks officers descended on the Mafikeng offices of North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo on Thursday morning‚ brandishing a search and seizure warrant.
The unit was there as part of an investigation into fraud and corruption involving the office of the premier‚ said Captain Tlangelani Rikhotso. Officers began the raids around 8am and had not concluded their operation by 11am.
Mahumapelo was not present at his office when the Hawks arrived. It is understood that Hawks investigators did not enter his personal office but searched other sections in the building. These included the supply chain office that deals with procurement‚ and the financial office.
Rikhotso said she could not give details of the investigation. "Due to the sensitivity of the case‚ we do not want to jeopardise it." She added that the case was still at an early stage.
It was thought that the investigation involves alleged corruption in procurement in the office of the premier‚ among other things. The North West provincial government came under the spotlight over a medical tender, allegedly made to the Guptas and issued without proper tender procedures.
However, Mahumapelo's office said the Hawks’ raid was linked to the leak of contracts between themselves and IT company Nepo Data Dynamics‚ which was contracted to integrate the province’s IT systems.
Spokesperson Brian Setswambung said Nepo Data Dynamics had been given a three-year contract back in 2016. “Last week, a junior employee is believed to have been enticed into stealing these documents‚” said Setswambung. The documents were then circulated on social media.
“We have had our own internal investigations into the matter and we are co-operating with the Hawks. These are part of the premier’s efforts to intensify efforts to root out corruption. We welcome the Hawks investigating and will co-operate fully.”
Mahumpelo was not present at the time of the raid. Setswambung said. He is in the legislature at the moment but we will be holding a press briefing on this matter at 1pm at the premier’s office.”