Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Land Boards secretaries investigated for corruption

The Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) is on a marathon investigation of Land Boards, particularly on secretaries.

Two Land Board secretaries have already been dragged before the court of law on corruption charges.
Recently, the Gantsi Land Board secretary was arraigned before the Gantsi Magistrate Court charged with a single count of abuse of office and has been interdicted from duty.

Investigations carried by DCEC allege that the suspect, Gregory Mokwena Malatsi, on the 8th of January 2010 in Maun Village, while employed by the Gantsi Land Board as a Land Board Secretary, abused the authority of his office by knowingly and without any lawful authority, engaging Ipoletse Drilling (Pty) Ltd, a borehole drilling company to drill four boreholes on behalf of the Gantsi Land Board without the consent and approval of the Gantsi Land board, an act which was prejudicial to the rights and interests of the Land board.

The value for this undertaking was estimated to have cost the Gantsi Land Board about P856 349.66.
The state is expected to bring about six witnesses to testify against Malatsi before magistrate Thabo Malambane.

“So far, the DCEC has taken two Land Board secretaries to court to answer to corruption charges,” DCEC spokesperson, Lentswe Motshoganetsi, told Sunday Standard.

He confirmed that investigations are ongoing concerning several Land Boards, adding that some cases are already awaiting determination by the Directorate of Public Prosecution.

He was, however, reluctant to divulge how many Land Boards and their secretaries were being probed.
“DCEC is seriously concerned about corruption regarding allocation of land” he stated.

He said that last year, the DCEC registered a case before the Francistown courts in which about thirty plots were illegally allocated by the Tati Land Board and the case is still pending.

Motshoganetsi further said, as DCEC, they have made deliberate efforts through the Corruption Prevention and Public Education Divisions to target Land Boards and conduct audits in order to identify loopholes for corruption.

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The Telegraph September 30

Digital edition of The Telegraph, September 30, 2020.