The Mopani District Municipality in Limpopo has dispatched a team of investigators to the region’s five towns to probe allegations of poor workmanship during the drilling of boreholes.
This follows the death of 18-month-old Mighty Baloyi after he fell into an unprotected borehole and died in Tzaneen a fortnight ago.
The team was dispatched yesterday and investigations are expected to wrap up by the end of this month.
“This case has served as an eye-opener for the municipality because the death of one child is one too many,” said Mopani district Municipal Manager Republic Monakedi yesterday.
“We want to know if the work done stood the test of time. We also want to check if all work was above board before payment was made,” said Monakedi.
Contracts with the finance department would be checked.
“If you are a service provider and you know your work was questionable, yet you were paid, you must then know that heads are going to roll,” said Monakedi. “And if you were responsible for payments to providers who delivered substandard work, the same applies because we definitely have no space for fraudsters in our municipality.”
On Friday, Democratic Alliance (DA) head of politics in the Greater Tzaneen Municipality, Desree van der Walt, and the DA’s Mopani District Municipality councillor Rene Pohl opened a charge of manslaughter against Monakedi and his technical services director, Jonas Shilowa, at the Tzaneen police station.
“The negligence of the Mopani district municipality in not covering up the unused borehole means they are complicit in this death. The municipal manager and his technical director have a case to answer,” said Pohl.
Monakedi said that at the time of the borehole tender in 2011 – 2012, he was not yet part of the municipal staff. “But I believe in a unitary state and that is why we are currently probing the tenders,” he said.
Three managers from the water and sanitation division have been suspended after allegations of fabricated borehole tenders to the value of more than R100 million surfaced.