Pretoria – The Democratic Alliance has welcomed the resignation of the national spokesman for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (the Hawks) Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi.
The Hawks announced Mulaudzi’s resignation on Monday night.
The DA’s Mat Cuthbert said his party welcomed the move as the opposition believed “there is sufficient prima facie evidence in the public domain to suggest that an urgent investigation be done regarding his alleged involvement in the misappropriation” of National Lotteries Commission (NLC) funds.
“A non-profit organisation that was named after Mr Mulaudzi allegedly received R3 million for the building of a sports centre in Mashamba in Limpopo from the NLC, which if true, is a clear conflict of interest as the Hawks were already probing other matters of alleged corruption pertaining to the disbursement of NLC funds,” said Cuthbert.
“Funds intended for the sports centre were allegedly spent on items unrelated to the actual project itself such as the purchasing of mini-bus taxis and kickbacks paid to NLC officials.”
“As already stated in October, the DA has been privy to an internal department of social development document which shows that Mr Muluadzi suspiciously changed the name of his NPO from the Hangwani Mulaudzi Foundation to the Bono Foundation in August 2020.
“Moreover, the internal document revealed that Mr Mulaudzi’s foundation failed to submit annual reports and compliance documents since 2018, which simply makes the donation of funds from the NLC more sinister,” Cuthbert added.
The Hangwani Mulaudzi Foundation pocketed R3 million from the lotteries commission to establish a sports centre for the community of Mashamba in July last year to cater for more than 100 children, with features such as a block of toilets, an office and a change-room facility as well as a borehole with running taps, and fencing.
The Star reported last month that the Covid-19 pandemic had since derailed the project. A frustrated Mulaudzi also told the publication that political leaders had put his life in danger with their agendas.
“I don’t know what kind of message they are trying to send out. I have to observe countless times now when I’m driving or walking because people think I carry case dockets and there is nothing like that,” he said.
The Hawks spokesman said he was not the sole director of the foundation. Asked by The Star why it used his name, he responded: “That was done because my name is popular, simple.”
Mulaudzi also stressed that he did not deal directly with investigations at the Hawks in his role, but just communicated information on behalf of the directorate.
However, the DA’s Cuthbert said there was a clear conflict of interest which had the potential to derail the entire investigation into large-scale looting at the NLC.
The funding raised alarm bells considering that the department of trade, industry and competition had recently handed over evidence related to the Denzhe Primary Care scandal to the Hawks to investigate.
This comes after the non-profit organisation mysteriously scored R7.5 million from the commission which is now being investigated by the Hawks.
Mulaudzi said the foundation, which was established in 2017, was meant to give skills to children in his community.
The NLC’s spokesperson Ndivhuho Mafela said the foundation applied and was approved for a grant in the sports and recreation sector.
“The NLC does not fund individuals, but registered NGOs/NPOs that work for the public good,” he said.
African News Agency (ANA)