A 73-year-old Johannesburg priest was arrested after he allegedly offered a bribe to hide corruption involving millions, the Hawks said on Thursday.
He was arrested after he tried to bribe LeadSA's Yusuf Abramjee so that he would not say anything about the multi-million rand corruption and fraud, involving two schools he ran,” Colonel McIntosh Polela said.
The priest initially offered to pay Abramjee R1.2 million and upped it to R7 million. He was allegedly carrying R50,000 when he was arrested on the East Rand on Wednesday, Polela said.
The priest apparently wanted to hide his handling of funds at two schools in the Ramaphosa informal settlement in Germiston and Denver, south of Johannesburg.
Polela said the priest received R20 million from the Gauteng education department to run the two schools, and there were allegations the money was misused.
“We are investigating the matter. This involves the department of education and the department of local government. The buildings he uses belong to the department of local government,” he said.
The SA Revenue Service (Sars) had received a report against the priest, spokesman Adrian Lackay said.
“Sars views the complaint and the arrest in a very serious light and wants to pursue the matter further.”
He said Sars would not tolerate the abuse of the national fiscus for self-enrichment.
The priest was expected to appear in the Boksburg Magistrate's Court on Friday.