Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
13 Aug 2018
1:23 pm

Public protector must probe R35m in double payments, says DA

Citizen Reporter

The opposition party claims these double payments are part of R199m in irregular expenditure by the Limpopo municipality.

Public Protector Adv. Busisiwe Mkhwebane is seen during a press briefing held at her offices, 4 December 2017, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

According to a statement released by the DA in Limpopo, the party has filed a complaint with the office of the public protector requesting a probe into the Polokwane municipality after it allegedly paid suppliers twice, to the value of R35 million, for the same goods and services in the 2016/17 financial year.

The DA says an Auditor-General’s (AG) report concluded that the municipality failed to maintain an invoice register to record all invoices received, leading to the alleged double payments.

The party says according to the report, some officials changed invoice numbers when processing the payments to bypass controls in the South African Municipal Resource System (Samras), which monitors the processing of financial data for municipal governments.

The DA claims these double payments are part of R199 million in irregular expenditure by the municipality.

“It is clear that suppliers have deliberately received double payments for personal enrichment at the expense of residents who are forced to endure poor service delivery from the municipality,” the statement says.

The party has urged the public protector to priorities the case.

READ MORE: DA to take Mkhwebane’s report on Vrede dairy farm on review

The relationship between SA’s biggest opposition party and public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has been strained in the past.

In February the party said it was taking the public protector’s report on the Vrede Dairy Farm project on judicial review, calling her findings a sham.

Speaking in Cape Town, DA leader Mmusi Maimane said there were too many omissions from the report, and said public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane even failed to probe what was already in the public domain.

“There is no effort shown to probe the true corruption at the heart of the Vrede scam, and to hold those responsible accountable. Ace Magashule and Mosebenzi Zwane get off unscathed in what was a scheme that they conceived, planned and executed – along with the Guptas – to defraud the public of hundreds of millions of rand,” said Maimane.

“After four years, Adv Mkhwebane simply cannot blame lack of capacity for this embarrassment of a report.”

In the same month, the party issued a statement calling on speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete to expedite the process of removing Mkhwebane from office for “incompetence”and “misconduct”.

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.