Ex-MEC arrested in R100m fraud bustMarch 2, 2011
Four political high-flyers linked to a scandal involving theft and fraud from a R100-million fund meant for poor farmers will appear in the Pretoria Commercial Crimes Court.The four were yesterday arrested by the elite police unit, the Hawks, following a lengthy investigation dating back to 2008.
Hawks spokesman McIntosh Polela said the four - who include former Land Bank CEO Phil Mohlahlane and former Gauteng housing MEC Dan Mofokeng - were implicated in an investigation relating to R14-million that was transferred from the AgriBEE fund to a firm of attorneys.
Two of the men were arrested in Polokwane, another in Bela Bela, and the fourth handed himself in at the Brooklyn police station.
In 2009, the Sunday Times exposed how Mohlahlane and Mofokeng allegedly diverted money from the AgriBEE fund - meant for cash-strapped black farmers - to buy fancy cars and houses.
In October 2009 the paper exposed how Mofokeng allegedly bought a Mercedes-Benz CLS55 AMG with cash, and a R2-million luxury home in Six Fountains, near Pretoria, with money from the fund, and how a majority shareholder in a farm project in Limpopo received R6.5-million from the fund.
Mohlahlane, who was both head of the agriculture department section that approved AgriBEE project funding and acting CEO of the Land Bank when money from the fund was disbursed, allegedly used money from the fund to pay cash for a R2.7-million home in Kyalami.
The fund also paid for another R6.4-million farm in Limpopo, which was transferred to Mohlahlane's sister-in-law, Jessica Mojanaga.
The allegations were first contained in a July 2008 forensic report by Pricewaterhousecoopers and then handed over to police.
Land Bank spokesman Musa Mchunu said the matter was being handled by the Hawks and that they would not be commenting at this stage.
The four will appear on charges relating to fraud, theft and money laundering.