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The Hawks have blocked a R23 million payment from a Free State municipality to a security company accused of fraud, corruption, and contravening the Municipal Finance Management Act.

Members of the Hawks' Serious Corruption Investigation team in Welkom were asked in 2021 to investigate the alleged flouting of procurement rules related to the Matjhabeng Local Municipality's appointment of the company.

According to Free State Hawks spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Zweli Mohobeleli, investigations revealed that the company had been appointed without a contract.

"Only an appointment letter confirming that the security company would be appointed for a period of three months was found. However, this security company continues to work for the municipality," Mohobeleli said.

"Thus far, this security company has been paid about R26 million by the municipality."

The Hawks' legal team intervened and applied for an interim court order to stop the transfer of the R23 million from the municipality's bank account to the security company.

The court granted the order on Friday and the matter is set down for the granting of a final order on 24 August.

The Hawks' Free State head, Major General Mokgadi Bokaba, warned: "Rest assured, everyone involved in the facilitation of payments to the security company without following rules will be arrested. In addition, we are also looking into recovering everything purchased with monies stolen from the municipality."

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