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By Eric Naki

Political Editor

Another mayor suspended, this time for alleged illegal payments

Bojanala Platinum DM mayor Magdeline Nondzaba was apparently targeted after refusing to suspend the municipal manager also involved.

The mayor of Bojanala Platinum district municipality in the North West, Magdeline Nondzaba, has been suspended pending an investigation into her role in the alleged illegal payments of five contractors by the municipal manager.

Nondzaba was put on special leave from 15 November to 15 December and was being investigated for allegedly failing to do her executive oversight duty regarding the irregular payments.

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However, it is understood from reliable sources that Nondzaba was being targeted after she refused to suspend the municipal manager, Lucky Fourie, who is accused of wrongfully paying four of the five contractors.

Fourie was suspended in October pending disciplinary action, but he is adamant he did nothing wrong and he acted legally to save the municipality from paying huge amounts if it did not settle out of court. “I have been waiting for charges against me, where are they?” asked Fourie.

A ‘witch hunt’

Describing the probe as a “witch hunt”, Fourie said he paid four of the five service providers after getting legal advice to settle out of court and pay.

That decision resulted in the municipality paying R20 million instead of R48 million had it opposed court applications by the companies … and lost.

Some of the service providers were appointed without following proper procurement processes, some did not deliver the goods at all but invoiced the municipality.

Accidental payment

The companies were appointed before Fourie became municipal manager in November last year. The problem began when National Treasury mistakenly paid an amount of R134 million to Bojanala instead of the Rustenburg local municipality.

The Bojanala management used part of the money to pay the contractors. The service providers were contracted to provide various services between 2018 and 2022.

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Some billed the municipality although no work was done and, in some instances, amounts claimed were inflated.

They were allegedly paid by Fourie without verification of the work. According to the report, Fourie was also investigated for paying a security provider and an IT firm, although their contracts had lapsed