Friday, September 18, 2020

Land corruption rocks Francistown

Six government officials have been interdicted in the ongoing investigations of alleged land corruption in Francistown and the number is expected to rise.

Lands and Housing Minister, Nonofo Molefhi, confirmed to The Sunday Standard that his ministry had interdicted at least 5 of its employees based in Francistown.

He said among the interdicted officers is a legal advisor who works for the Department of Lands in Francistown.
“It is possible that the number might increase pending the outcome the investigation.”

He further told the Sunday Standard that, “I have just been given the report therefore I am unable to answer all your questions because I am addressing kgotla meetings.”

Sunday Standard investigations turned up information that six employees, among them a legal advisor at the Department of Lands, are named in 40 dockets, which the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) has passed to the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) for prosecution.

It is understood that the suspects received bribes to allocate plots to some applicants, bypassing procedures. Sunday Standard is informed that the going rate for bribes was P50 000 for residential plots.

Late last year, minister Molefi announced that he had engaged the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services to assist in investigating land corruption throughout the country.

DCEC Public Relations Officer, Lentswe Motshoganetsi, said “DCEC is unable to divulge information on specific cases that are not yet before the courts in fear of compromising the ongoing investigations.”

He pointed out that “in 2009 the Ngamiland/North West District, particularly Tawana Land Board, was toped in corrupt land deals.

“Currently, we are unable to give the exact number of employees who are interdicted in these deals. However, according to the 2009 DCEC statistics, the Ministry of Lands and Housing had the third highest number of reports alleging corruption,” said Motshoganetsi.

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