‘This is like a stokvel’: Limpopo council’s dodgy secrets
A case of fraud against a municipality in the Sekhukhune region was registered at the local police station.
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It looks as though some dodgy operators in municipalities in Limpopo have come up with a new scam to make money – secretly “borrowing” municipal money to make interest off it.
The Citizen can reveal that police in Limpopo are investigating allegations of fraud in the Ephraim Mogale local municipality in the Sekhukhune region.
According to information, a high-ranking official from the municipality allegedly deposited R134,000 into an account belonging to someone not on the municipal payroll or doing business with the council.
The transfer happened on 6 May.
Later the same day, the same amount of money was withdrawn from a Nedbank Branch in Marble Hall.
But surprisingly, a few months later, the same amount of money was deposited back into the municipal account on 12 July.
The trend was allegedly realised by those working in the account and expenditure department of the institution and a case of fraud was registered at the local police station.
Attempts to get comment from the municipality yielded nothing as both the municipal spokesperson and municipal manager avoided calls for two weeks.
But well-placed sources said suspicions were that high-profile politicians and municipal high echelons had formed a cartel, working in cahoots with accounting officers in finance departments to defraud their councils through the scheme.
A source privy to the investigation said: “The scam works like this: a municipal official who has access to municipal transactions will transfer any amount of money into their account or those belonging to their partners in crime, especially soon after payday.
“The money will after a few months be transferred back into the municipal account. The depositor will then claim the interest accrued when the money was in their accounts.
“This is like a stokvel or money-loaning scheme where these crooks make money at the expense of the ratepayers.”
Seun Mokgotji, secretary-general for the Bolsheviks party of South Africa, said this was not an isolated case.
He said many such incidents have occurred in the past in several municipalities, without being reported to the police or action being taken.
“This municipality must be placed under administration. First it was millions of rands deposited illegally into the VBS Mutual Bank and now this nonsense.
“We want action now and those responsible for this must be shown the door.”
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