handcuffsNews24 reports that five Free State municipal employees have been arrested during an operation by the Hawks' National Clean Audit Task Team.

The five, all employed at the Matjhabeng Local Municipality, were arrested and appeared in court on Tuesday. The accused, aged 36 to 55, are being investigated by the Hawks as part of an ongoing probe into corruption at municipalities around the country. They have allegedly been linked to fraud, forgery and contravening the Municipal Finance Management Act. "It is reported that one of the suspects facilitated the appointments of the other accused, which resulted in the municipality being prejudiced of an actual loss of over R1 million," a Hawks spokesperson advised. The accused were all granted bail, ranging from R8,000 to R15,000, with strict conditions which included that they not enter any municipal premises. The case was postponed to 4 May for further investigation.

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