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Yes, we've got a file on Willie Hofmeyr, says NPA

Staff Reporter

The National Prosecuting Authority has confirmed receiving a docket containing information gathered during a probe into SIU head Willie Hofmeyr.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) on Monday confirmed it had received a docket containing information gathered during an investigation into Special Investigating Unit (SIU) head Willie Hofmeyr.

The file came from the serious and economic offences unit in April, NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said.

“The case docket is under consideration by the prosecutors in the Director of Public Prosecution’s North Gauteng office in Pretoria.”

The investigation relates to alleged misappropriation of SIU funds and alleged flouting of supply chain and procurement procedures in awarding a tender to refurbish the unit’s Silverton, Pretoria offices.

“The investigation is still under way by the police and once such investigation is completed the prosecutors will consider the matter further,” Mhaga said.

Earlier on Monday, the Star newspaper had reported that the investigation involved procurement issues at the SIU, after its former chief financial officer, Veronica Marshsmit, was suspended and later resigned. According to the report, Hofmeyr confirmed on Sunday that he was under investigation.

“It is to be expected that there will be efforts to discredit those dealing with serious corruption, and this has happened in the past. One just has to be tough enough to deal with it when it happens,” he was quoted as saying.

“At the same time we are all equal before the law and I cannot expect to be given special treatment. But I expect to be treated fairly.”

The SIU is involved in several serious investigations, among them a probe into police procurement procedures for new office space.

In March Hofmeyr told MPs the SIU was probing 16 departments and public entities for fraud, graft and maladministration.

News of the investigation came days after claims that Public Protector Thuli Madonsela was facing a probe for fraud and corruption.

Democratic Alliance justice spokesperson Debbie Schafer said there appeared to a “sinister” motive for investigating Hofmeyr. Her party would monitor the probe. Schafer noted that Hofmeyr recently told Parliament’s justice portfolio committee that the SIU was investigating procurement irregularities on the part of the police.

“In this context, one cannot avoid the conclusion that there is a more sinister motive behind the police investigation into Willie Hofmeyr.”

She said it seemed a case of “one too many” coincidences that both Hofmeyr and Madonsela, who is about to release her final report on the police headquarters lease scandal, were reported to be under investigation for procurement issues.

“Since the elimination of the Scorpions, the SIU and the public protector are in reality the only truly independent institutions that investigate high-level corruption. How ironic that they are now both the subject of police investigations.”—Sapa

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