Ricochet News

George Mayor denies 'opportunistic' allegations following HAWKS raid

Apr 26, 2018
George Mayor denies 'opportunistic' allegations following HAWKS raid

George Municipality Executive Mayor, Ald Melvin Naik, has assured residents and other stakeholders that no one in his administration is facing arrest after the HAWKS raided the George Municipality offices on Monday.

George Municipal Manager, Trevor Botha, confirmed that electronic equipment and a number of documents were retrieved by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) over allegations made by individuals about irregular tender procurements and procedures.

"Despite the rumours doing the rounds on social media and the vicious politicking by certain members of the George Municipal Council, I wish to assure you that no-one, including myself, is facing imminent arrest and all that is currently happening is that the SAPS is investigating allegations, as per their legal mandate," he described.

"As far as we can ascertain, certain people, unhappy with the results of tenders, which they did not even tender for, made allegations regarding these tenders to the provincial Government of the Western Cape, who referred the matter to SAPS for investigation, some time ago.

"All that is currently happening, is that SAPS is gathering evidence, to see whether there is any substance to the allegations.

"I can assure you that I am completely innocent of any wrongdoing, and I am convinced that the current investigation will prove this."

The Mayor said that with regard to "the opportunism that certain persons, and here I refer mainly to Cllr G Van Niekerk, and Cllr V Gericke, have displayed in this matter, I will only say at this stage that they have already committed themselves to certain statements that are not protected by way of privilege, and that I have already referred the matter to my legal team for further action".

"I am extremely surprised that Cllr Gericke has allowed himself to be used in this way by the Freedom Front Plus in the furtherance of their right-wing agenda," Naik added.

"Neither they nor any actions taken by them, was the source of this investigation as they allege, and they are simply political opportunists."

The Independent Civic Organisation of South Africa (ICOSA) also said that the George Municipality raid by the Hawks was not surprising and accused the DA of hiding wrongs behind a facade of clean audits.

"I have always been and will stay committed to act in the interests of ALL of the people of George, and not just an elect few," Naik maintained.

The Mayor adds that "for very good reasons, the Constitution of this beautiful country of ours states that one is innocent until proven guilty".

"I will ask that everyone involved in this matter respects the process and lets the investigation and other processes that might follow, run its course before trying me and other innocents involved in the court of public opinion."