The North End offices of AfriForum’s outspoken Kobus Gerber were broken into and computers stolen during the early hours of yesterday morning.
The break-in followed on the heels of the elite Hawks unit’s raid on the offices of Nelson Mandela Bay stadium operators Access Management, after Gerber reported allegations of corruption against them.
Gerber, who is also the chairman of the Nelson Mandela Bay Ratepayers’ Association, has been a force behind investigations into mismanagement of funds in the municipality, with his latest focus on Access, the EP Kings and the Integrated Transport System budget.
On Thursday, investigations into Access, and how they allegedly funneled millions of rands from the municipality to the beleaguered EP Kings and Chippa United, came to a head when members of the anti-corruption task team and cyber crime unit swooped on their offices. Computers and documentation were confiscated to facilitate the police investigation.
Access director Rian Oberholzer said they had at all times acted on instruction of the municipality and in terms of their contract with them, and accordingly denied any wrongdoing.
His lawyer, Danie Gouws, said Access was always willing to cooperate with the police and described the raid as an unnecessary publicity stunt.
Gerber reported a case of corruption, theft and money laundering against Access, the directors of EP Kings and senior municipal budget and treasury official Nadia Gerwel in January.
The case is based on a secret national Treasury report which said Access was part of a conspiracy to siphon money from the municipality.
He also subsequently lodged a high court application against Access and the municipality, questioning how Access’s contract as the official stadium operators was renewed without it being put out to tender. He wanted the contract set aside.
Yesterday, Gerber said he found it strange that only his computers, a printer and two watches had been stolen, while about R2 500 in cash went untouched.
“I would like to state that nothing to do with my investigations was on my work computers,” Gerber said. He said the break-in must have occurred sometime between midnight – after he left the office on Thursday night – and 5am yesterday.
The front door to Gerber’s Gelder Motors office in North End was kicked in and his office ransacked.
Police spokeswoman Captain Sandra Janse van Rensburg said the break-in and theft were under investigation.