inspector faces more charges

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

More charges are likely to be added against an environmental health inspector at Kgapane Hospital in Limpopo who allegedly extorted money from the principal of a circumcision school.

The inspector, Hlengani Godfrey Macheke, was arrested last week for allegedly accepting bribes from circumcision surgeons in the Bolobedu area.

Following the arrest, more surgeons have come forward and claimed they had also fallen prey to Macheke's activities.

They claimed to have lost thousands of rands in bribery fees.

It is alleged Macheke's wayward demands started soon after the death of the Rain Queen, Makobo Modjadji VI, in 2005.

The Modjadji Royal Council, which controls all the initiation schools in the area, said yesterday 22 surgeons had already come forward to report how they were forced to pay bribes to Macheke.

The surgeons claimed they were made to believe that it was the right thing to do to pay R4000 to secure a permit for the following year.

About 16 koma (initiation) schools in Bolobedu were given permission to operate this year.

The schools were given permits through Macheke's recommendations.

Macheke's duties included having to evaluate venues at which the schools would be built, inspect the food given to the initiates, check the health conditions of the initiates and ensure that circumcisions were done properly.

He was also responsible for issuing permits to school principals in order for them to run koma schools.

The regent of the Balobedu, Prince Mpapatla Modjadji, said yesterday that preliminary investigations revealed Macheke was allegedly demanding between R4000 and R5000 from the surgeons.

"We have also opened cases of corruption against Macheke and we hope they are finalised before the end of August," said Modjadji.

Police spokesman in Bolobedu Captain Freddy Maenetja saidMacheke appearedin the Bolobedu magistrate's court on Friday over corruption. The case was postponed to August 6. He is out on R1000 bail.

Macheke was arrested last Thursday after he was caught red-handed while accepting a R4000 bribe from a surgeon.