NORTH WEST – Caswell Mthombeni (52) appeared in the Mahikeng Magistrate’s Court this morning, 27 June 2023, facing charges of fraud and money laundering.

It is alleged that in October 2015, the suspect was appointed by Department of Community Safety and Transport Management in the North West province to help the department in achieving its road safety objectives, which included training of unemployed matriculants and empowering of accredited driving schools in various pilot areas. The suspect’s duties also included training and developing driving schools and learner drivers.

An amount of over R21-million was paid to the suspect for the commencement of the programme. Over forty driving schools allegedly signed contracts with the suspect’s company, as beneficiaries of the programme. It is further alleged that these driving schools used their funds to participate in the programme, in anticipation that the suspect will compensate them. The suspect allegedly failed to honour his contractual agreement with the driving schools and spent the money on himself. As a result, the department incurred losses to the tune of over R21-million.

He was arrested by the Hawks’ Serious Corruption Investigation assisted by Priority Crime Specialised Investigation and Tactical Operations Management Section on Monday, 26 June 2023, in Pretoria. He has since appeared in the Mahikeng Magistrate’s Court and he was granted R50 000.00 bail. His matter was postponed to 27 July 2023 pending further investigation.

The Provincial Head for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, Major General Patrick Mbotho and the Director for Public Prosecutions, Dr Rachel Makhari commended the collaboration between the investigation team and prosecution leading to the arrest of the suspect. They have vowed to continue working together in clamping down on corruption in the province.

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