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Mlamleli’s arrest is a step in the right direction to eradicate corruption in the government

The FF Plus welcomes the arrests of various high-ranking individuals, including officials, businessmen and politicians, made by The Hawks today for alleged fraud and money laundering with the controversial asbestos audit contract in the Free State that amounts to nearly R255 million.

The arrest of Ms Olly Mlamleli, the former Mangaung Mayor, who had been removed from her office by means of a successful motion of no confidence brought by the FF Plus, is one that is particularly welcomed.

The Free State was shamelessly looted due to fraud and corruption and also suffered severely due to state capture. The FF Plus is of the view that it is not only the officials who are implicated in corrupt transactions, tender fraud and other malpractices with state funds who must be punished, but also the politicians who pulled the strings behind the scenes.

Therefore, Mlamleli's arrest in particular is deemed an exceptional victory for the FF Plus – and not only because alleged corrupt politicians must be brought to book, but also because a mayor is supposed to have a character that is above reproach and must be a good manager as well. The state of affairs in the Mangaung Metro Municipality and recent events speak volumes.

These arrests are, however, probably just the tip of the iceberg and much more serious action is needed to truly call to account the high-ranking individuals who are behind the looting of the state coffers of the Free State.

There are various other projects, similar to the asbestos audit, where billions of rand were lost due to fraud and corruption; like the Vrede Dairy scandal in which most of the high-ranking ANC politicians are implicated. And yet only former officials of the provincial Department of Agriculture were prosecuted for it.

Corruption in the government will not be successfully eradicated, at least not until political office bearers in government departments are held personally accountable for the fraud and corruption in their respective departments. Thus, Mlamleli's arrest was indeed a step in the right direction.

Contact details: 082 674 6670

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