NPA: Arrests in FS asbestos corruption case just the tip of the iceberg

Investigations are revealing that more people are involved in the R255 million Free State asbestos project.

Hawks members escort one of the seven suspects identified for arrest on 30 September 2020 in a case related to a R255m asbestos removal project in Free State. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said that it would attach properties belonging to those already arrested over the asbestos scandal and it expected to make more arrests in the coming days.

Investigations are revealing that more people are involved in the R255 million Free State asbestos project.

Ousted Mangaung mayor, Olly Mlamleli, is among the seven suspects appearing in the Bloemfontein Magistrates Court on Friday morning.

It’s now emerged that one of the suspects is facing even more charges for taking money into the cells, trying to bribe officials and buying cellphones.

The NPA’s Sipho Ngwema said that the arrests so far were just the tip of the iceberg.

“We are still investigating and we do expect we may have to make further arrests in the coming days or weeks. There is no doubt there will be further arrests.”

Meanwhile, demonstrators have gathered outside the court.

African National Congress members supporting Mlamleli said that her case was politically motivated because more senior members of the party haven’t been charged.

But others were not so sympathetic.

“We are here to say, those who are responsible for collapsing municipalities, for squandering the resources of the people, for stealing from the people, for maladministration, for indulging in corruption must wear orange overalls,” one member said.

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