JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – The Ratlou Local Municipality’s former acting municipal manager has become the latest government official to be arrested by the Hawks after he allegedly failed to follow tender processes in the awarding of tenders to the tune of R5.8 million.
Hawks’ Serious Corruption Investigation spokesperson Captain Tlangelani Rikhotso said on Monday that Cassius Sebatane Sejake, 45, was arrested after he allegedly irregularly awarded a tender in 2018 and last year while he was acting municipal manager for the North West municipality.
Images from the arrest showed the Hawks arriving at Sejake’s offices on Monday morning and arresting the acting municipal manager while his colleagues looked on and others took pictures of the handcuffed man in a suit as he made his way to the Hawks vehicle. The pictures were splashed on social media.
“It’s alleged that as the accounting officer, the suspect failed to take reasonable steps to ensure that public procurement processes were followed and observed. Service providers were allegedly appointed without a competitive bidding process,” Rikhotso said.
In July last year employees at the municipality, outside of Mahikeng, downed tools after they cited concerns and unhappiness with Sejake.
OFM News reported that the protesters were not happy as employees were transferred, suspended and dismissed without proper processes being followed.
The strike that was allegedly led by the SA National Civic Organisation saw protesters trying to attack Sejake and being shot with rubber bullets by police.
In September last year, Sejake was suspended on allegations of financial misconduct, corruption and nepotism.
Rikhotso said Sejake made a brief appearance in the Atamelang Magistrate’s Court where he was charged with fruitless and wasteful expenditure for the contravention of Section 173 of the Municipal Finance Management Act. The matter was postponed to today to allow Sejake to make a formal bail application.