In November 2020 a corruption was opened against the Ba-Phalaborwa municipality and it’s Mayor, Merriam Malatji, following a dispute between her and Mopani flying squad owner Louis’Malatji. Merriam Malatji was accused of attempting to solicit a half a million Rand (R500 000) bribe from the Flying squad owner.
According to Louis, the former municipality security company, he refused to give the mayor the half million Rand and Merriam is alleged to have tried to convince Louis to give her at least R200 000 for Louis to remain favorable to being reappointed, to which Louis denied again.
After denying to give her the R200 000 the mayor then told Louis that she would re-advertise the security tender and she did re-advertise it but gave it to her friend. Louis won a high court interdict that stopped the municipality from appointing a new security company.
As part of the ongoing investigations into the allegations of fraud and corruption on the awarding of tenders by the Ba Phalaborwa Municipality, the Hawks have conducted a search and seizure operation at the municipal offices this morning on 26 February 2021
The municipality is under investigation for allegedly awarding tenders worth over R30 million without following due processes.
During the operation, the Hawks’ Serious Corruption Investigation managed to seize documents and laptops.
No arrests made at the moment and the investigation is still continuing.