NATIONAL NEWS - Edwin Sodi, who was involved in an alleged asbestos looting scheme in the Free State, has reportedly been arrested by the Hawks along with the former head of the department of human settlements in the Free State, Nthimose Mokhesi and the former director-general of the national department of human settlements Thabane Zulu.
The Hawks in the Free State said the arrests could not be confirmed at this stage as the operation is ongoing and that a media statement will follow in due course.
Meanwhile, the chairperson of the commission of inquiry into state capture, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has continued hearing testimony from different witnesses on the asbestos audit project over the past few days.
This includes that a joint venture between Sodi and the late businessman Phikolomzi Ignatius “Igo” Mpambani, was awarded a R255-million contract to remove asbestos from houses in the province, for work which could have been done at R21 million.
Based on testimony Zondo has heard, the joint venture did little to no work, with the third subcontractor in the contract doing most of the work, which was counting the houses in the Free State that needed to have asbestos removed.
The joint venture scored the contract with the Free State department of human settlements in December 2014.
Last year, Zondo heard testimony that Mpambani acceded to “onerous requests” for the payment of monies for different purposes which were made by the office of the former premier of the Free State, Ace Magashule.
Mpambani allegedly sourced the money from the asbestos project, Zondo heard.
On Monday, Zondo heard testimony that Sodi and Mokhesi entered into a trust to purchase a residential property while the business was a contractor with the department Mokhesi headed.
Zulu has given testimony before Zondo and denied receiving any money from the asbestos project.
The former economic development MEC in the Free State Mxolisi Dukwana had presented before Zondo a spreadsheet which revealed that Zulu was allegedly a beneficiary of a R10 million from the asbestos project.
This story will be updated once more information has been provided by the Hawks.