News / South Africa / Politics

Alex Japho Matlala
2 minute read
22 Feb 2019
6:20 am

Limpopo’s Capricorn District mayor, SACP trade barbs over corruption

Alex Japho Matlala

The SACP says John Mpe colluded with service providers when he awarded tenders of millions of rands, among others, but Mpe denies all allegations.

ANC banner. Picture: Twitter

Executive mayor of Capricorn District Municipality and the ANC Peter Mokaba regional chairperson John Mpe faces allegations of collusion and corruption from the SACP.

The mayor is accused of having pocketed nearly R1 million in salaries but not reporting for work. The SA Communist Party also accused Mpe of contravening the rules of the mayoral vehicle handbook.

But Mpe said it was a revenge attack based on empty claims. “I believe the SACP is only making these unfounded, baseless and unsubstantiated allegations against me because I exposed some of their members who wrongly benefitted from the now defunct VBS Mutual Bank.”

SACP Castro Pilusa district secretary Dan Mosena said Mpe had bought a vehicle for R1.1 million, instead of an affordable vehicle for R780 000. This angered the municipal public accounts committee, which recommended that corrective measures be taken against Mpe.

Mosena said the committee also recommended that the mayor pay back the balance of R260 000.

“We have also learnt with shock that Mpe allegedly colluded with service providers when he awarded tenders of millions of rands while still working in the supply-chain management division.”

Mpe was head of supply-chain management in the Capricorn district municipality before becoming executive mayor in August 2016.

The party claimed the majority of companies awarded tenders were connected to Mpe’s political courtiers.

Mosena also accused Mpe of firing employees who spoke out about his alleged conduct as head of supply-chain management. They claimed the officials, including the lawyers representing them, were fired once he was appointed as mayor.

“In light of this, the council appointed … Gobodo Forensic Investigative Accounting which established that ‘Mr Clean’ was not exactly clean,” he said.

Mpe denied the allegations. He said the SACP’s accusations would not stick.

“A formal disciplinary inquiry on the salary payment debacle was instituted against me and the case was dismissed,” he said.

Mpe also denied allegations that he fired employees who spilled the beans about his alleged conduct.

“It suffices to state that the officials were senior managers and such employees are appointed exclusively by council and can only be disciplined by the council.

“As for the mayoral vehicle, we want to state that the secretary of SACP Castro Pilusa is a member of the municipal council and voted in support of the council resolution [on that matter.”

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