Top politician Motshidisi Koloi arrested for alleged fraud

Free State MEC for social development Motshidisi Koloi was arrested by the Hawks’ serious corruption investigation unit based in Bloemfontein on Thursday afternoon.

Koloi was nabbed alongside a political advisor and a chief director, and they are expected to appear in the Kroonstad magistrate’s court on Friday.

The trio allegedly conspired to rip Moqhaka local municipality off R150 000 under the pretext that the money would be used for a sound system at the Nelson Mandela Memorial Lecture in 2017.

This took place when she was the executive mayor for the Moqhaka local municipality and before her tenure in the provincial legislature.

Without mentioning Koloi by name, Free State Hawks spokesperson Zweli Mohobeleli confirmed the arrests, stating that the suspects handed themselves over to the Hawks in Bloemfontein.

He said the three were detained for alleged fraud, corruption, money-laundering, and contravention of the Municipal Financial Management Act 56 of 2003.

“This event never took place despite money having been transacted out of the municipal bank account,” said Mohobeleli.

“Free State head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, Major-General Mokgadi Bokaba, applauded the investigators working on this case for their hard work which led to the court issuing warrants of arrest.

“She has encouraged them to pursue all matters they are investigating with more vigour.”

The arrests come after the MEC’s houses in Free State and Gauteng were raided by the Hawks in July after allegations of money-laundering and corruption were levelled against her.

During the raids, the Hawks seized documents and electronic devices.

Free State Hawks spokesperson at the time, Kagiso Mogale, said the court granted them a warrant to search for more information from the MEC’s houses to firm up the investigation.

“On July 12 2023, members of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation’s serious corruption investigation [unit] in Bloemfontein were assisted by relevant stakeholders to execute search and seizure operations in properties linked to a Free State member of the executive council [MEC],” said Mogale.

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