North West Legislature’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) plans to lay fraud and corruption charges against the provincial Public Works Head of Department, Phakiso Mothupi.

This is after Mothupi and his colleagues failed to adequately answer questions relating to the pre-payment of a contractor to the oversight committee.

Public Works made an upfront payment of R103 million to Ayamah Consulting Engineers, in March last year, for the refurbishment of roads in the province.

Scopa had summoned the department to explain the payments during a public hearing held in Mahikeng in the North West.

Millions of rands were paid to Ayamah four days before the end of the financial year. Scopa says Public Works is not upholding regulations, resulting in the department’s continued irregular spending of taxpayer’s money.

Member of Scopa, Boitumelo Moiloa says they will now turn to the Hawks to probe further.

Meanwhile the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the North West says it welcomes the long overdue raid by the Hawks at Premier Supra Mahumapelo’s offices on Thursday morning.

The DA says Mahumapelo must now face all the allegations against him and also account for his relationship with the Gupta family and involvement in State Capture. In their statement the DA says this could not have come at a better time as the Premier and his people attempt to muddy the waters by ordering forensic audits.

African National Congress Deputy Secretary General Jessie Duarte says the governing party’s attitude is that where there is wrong it must be fixed. Duarte says the law enforcement agencies must do their work.

“Where there is an investigation to be done whoever is being asked to co-operate, do so fully, don’t pretend that the agencies don’t have the right to do so, they do and they must. The most important thing is everyone is innocent until proven guilty and I think one of the things that are disconcerting in our country is that people are declared guilty and if by chance they are found innocent, there is never an apology which is a sad reality which we face with a great deal of pain.”

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