Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Hawks raid Bobani’s office, seize wife’s laptop

A series of raids have been conducted by the Hawks at Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Mongameli Bobani’s home and office.

Bobani’s lawyer, Danie Gouws, confirmed the Hawks raided his client’s office at the City Hall in Port Elizabeth, as well as his home, on Tuesday. He said police had confiscated Bobani’s wife’s laptop during the raid.

“My client cooperated with them. It was just a witch hunt. In my view, it’s done before the elections because certain political parties attack other political parties. I was present with the search. What I know is that they only took his wife’s laptop at his house,” he said.

A source in the Hawks said the directorate for priority crime investigation was in the process of conducting a series of raids on Bobani. He said the raids were scheduled to be conducted over three days, starting on Tuesday.

The directorate’s spokesperson, Hangwani Mulaudzi, confirmed the raids.

“We can confirm we are conducting a search [and] seizure in relation to allegations of procurement fraud, corruption, money laundering and theft [at] the Nelson Mandela municipality,” Mulaudzi said in text message.

In October last year, the Hawks made their first move against Bobani, raiding his office. The raid resulted in the seizure of documents and computers, Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi told journalists at the time.

Mulaudzi said arrests were imminent. It was reported that the Hawks were investigating the municipality’s integrated public transport system (IPTS).

The raid led to a series of motions of no confidence against the United Democratic Movement (UDM) mayor by the Democratic Alliance-led alliance in the metro. A well-placed source said this week’s raids were unrelated to the IPTS system.

Gouws said he didn’t know why the Hawks were pursuing his client.

“Its now every second week. They seem to be getting permission from other political parties, it’s unnecessary. We looked at the paper work and nothing was found. The police were professional, I must say. He has maintained that his office is always open.”

Gouws said this raid was related to a case that was opened at the Humewood police station in the western suburbs of Port Elizabeth.

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said Bobani would have to face the music if he was found to have acted against the law.

“So far, we don’t know why they are raiding. This is not the first time they went to that office. For them to continue to raid and raid without charging people, the image of their institution will be questioned. It will only be the day when Bobani is appearing in court where we can confirm the seriousness of the charges. I wish that this matter can be put to rest once the NPA has finally made their final determination,” Holomisa said.

According to News24, five municipal officials linked to the health portfolio have apparently been taken in by the authorities.

Bobani was the mayoral committee member for health before he became mayor.

It is unclear if these arrests are related to the raids being carried out by the Hawks. — News24

Subscribe to the M&G

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them.

Lizeka Tandwa
Lizeka Tandwa
Lizeka Tandwa is a political journalist with a keen interest in local government.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

R350 relief grant will be paid into bank accounts or...

There are concerns that post office branch closures will make it difficult for beneficiaries to access the grant

South Africa at risk of spillover from international inflation, economists...

Higher international oil prices, for example, could affect local transport costs through second-round effects

More top stories

Companies affected by unrest can apply for support as soon...

Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi urges employers to be honest when applying for help

Mboweni extends R38bn to cope with double calamity of Covid-19...

The finance minister extended the Ters relief and the social distress relief grant, and also ensured businesses hit by looting can access insurance

South Africa appalled that Israel given AU observer status

The international relations department has released a statement condemning the decision

Coal on a drive to delay its demise

The just transition that is currently being executed is a balance between energy security and climate change, according to one analyst
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×