News / South Africa / Government

Alex Japho Matlala
2 minute read
15 Jul 2019
6:42 am

Sekhukhune mayor must come clean on report of R5.4m theft – DA

Alex Japho Matlala

According to the DA, investigations found the fraud involved seven senior officials attached to the IT and finance department of the municipality.

Sekhukhune Mayor Stan Ramaila. Picture: Twitter

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Limpopo has given Sekhukhune District Municipality mayor Stan Ramaila five days to come clean over the findings of a forensic report into the theft of R5. 4 million municipal funds.

The party claimed yesterday the money was allegedly paid into the wrong account by municipal officials in July last year.

The party has also given Ramaila an ultimatum to submit the consolidated detailed investigation report to MEC for co-operative governance, human settlement and traditional affairs Basikopo Makamu and MEC for Treasury Seaparo Sekoati or else stand to face a brouhaha.

The forensic audit investigation was mandated after the financial system of the municipality was supposedly hacked.

This led to R5.4 million being deposited into the wrong accounts without the knowledge of the municipality. The DA said yesterday the accounts the millions were deposited into belonged to persons and institutions outside the municipality.

According to the DA, investigations found the fraud involved seven senior officials attached to the information technology and finance department of the ailing municipality.

Some senior officials from both departments were suspended from work last year, but their cases have not been finalised.

“These officials have been smiling all the way to the bank to get their monthly salaries, while sitting idle at home,” said DA councillor Isaac Makofane.

Makofane said that according to disciplinary regulations, if a senior manager was suspended a hearing must commence within three months after the date of suspension, failing which the suspension would automatically lapse.

“But that was not the case with Sekhukhune. It leaves a bitter taste in our mouths to learn that none of the suspended officials have been charged since the emergence of the fraud case last year,” Makofane said.

“This is not a war. All we are asking is for Ramaila to implement all the recommendations of the investigation report and ensure there is accountability for the missing R5.4 million.”

Municipal spokesperson Willy Mosoma agreed with the DA.

“This matter has been raised on several occasions in council sittings. The executive mayor has asked the council to give him time as it was still in the hands of law enforcement agencies.

“The officials fingered in the allegations have been suspended and are appearing before internal hearings.

“As much as we also want closure on this matter, it is important to do things by the book and let the law take its course,” said Mosoma.

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