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NC councillor and son in court for corruption

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EFF in N Cape slams corruption that is “robbing” communities

File picture: Pexels

A COUNCILLOR from Joe Morolong Municipality appeared alongside her son in the Kuruman Magistrate’s Court on Friday on charges of corruption.

Hawks Northern Cape provincial spokesperson Nomthandazo Mnisi said that the councillor, Keemenao Julia Katong, 50, was arrested on Friday by the Hawks’ Serious Corruption Investigation unit and charged with five counts of corruption. 

“Her son, Boineelo Lennox Katong, 30, was charged with corruption, fraud, uttering and forgery.” 

Mnisi stated that the councillor allegedly demanded gratifications from a subcontractor, who provided transport services for workers of Down Touch Investment (Pty) Ltd, to ensure that the services provided to the contractor (Down Touch Investment (Pty) Ltd) were not terminated.

She added that transport was provided for workers employed on a road construction tender that was estimated to be worth R286 000.

“It is alleged that between April and September 2019 a couple of transactions were paid into the accused’s bank account.”

Mnisi said the complainant was allegedly instructed to pay R4 500 for the councillor’s tyres while R2 500 was paid into the councillor’s bank account. “An amount of R12 500 was also paid into her son’s bank account.

“The councillor told the subcontractor that she would take him out of the business of transporting Down Touch Investment workers when the payments stopped.”  

She added that the councillor’s son was employed as the community liaison officer, who apparently facilitated the process of removing the subcontractor’s taxis from the project by making false presentations to the site manager of Down Touch Investment.

“The matter was then reported to the Hawks’ Serious Corruption unit for investigation. Both suspects were arrested today (Friday) with the assistance of the SAPS Kuruman Tactical Response Team.” 

Mnisi indicated that the suspects were granted R2 000 bail each. “The case was postponed to July 22.” 

EFF provincial chairperson Aubrey Baartman meanwhile said that corruption was robbing communities of quality and dignified service delivery, where public funds were being misused by officer-bearers. 

“We applaud the SAPS and the Hawks for apprehending the councillor in ward 4 at Joe Morolong Local Municipality,” said Baartman.

He stated that community members of ward 4 staged a protest at the Joe Morolong Municipality on March 19 due to unhappiness regarding a road construction project between Hotazel and Kathu, where transport was provided to the workers.  

“It is alleged that another transport service provider was intimidated on that project that is funded by South 32 through the Municipal Infrastructure Grant.

“This arrest is just the start of greater corrupt activities that are occurring at local government level. The law must take its course and deal with all those found wanting,” said Baartman.