The Democratic Alliance in the Greater Letaba municipality has accused municipal bosses of trying to sweep a fraud case involving more than R1 million of taxpayers’ money under the carpet in Limpopo.
The money was transferred into a wrong account by the municipality in 2017 and never recovered.
Now, the DA wants the municipal mayor, Peter Matlou, and municipal manager Innocent Shirova to implement the recommendations of the auditor-general and municipal public accounts committee.
The two recommended that criminal cases against those who were in charge when the transaction happened be opened.
On Friday, the party wrote to the speaker of Greater Letaba municipality, Dorah Makhananisa, asking her to convene an urgent council meeting to debate the implementation of recommendations, as clearly stated by municipal public account committee (MPAC), on recouping over R1 million from the former manager, whose term has lapsed.
“The DA can confirm that the former manager, Glory Mashaba, approved and deposited R1,086,000 into a service provider’s account to provide financial training for 25 municipal employees and councillors in 2017.”
The company that was appointed to do the work belongs to a former ANCYL Mopani regional leader, known to The Citizen.
DA councillor in the municipality Timothy Maluleke said in a statement the irregular expenditure was highlighted in the auditor-general’s report and the matter was then referred to the MPAC for further investigation.
“Therefore, the MPAC recommended that the municipality recover the money from Mashaba within three months. In addition, council was advised to lay criminal charges against Mashaba and those allegedly implicated in this illegal transaction, in line with Section 32(5) of the MFMA which holds anyone charged with fruitless, irregular and unauthorised expenditure liable,” he said.
No criminal charges had been laid and no arrests had been made to date.
Maluleke said only after investigations by the new municipal manager, Innocent Shirova, R50,000 was recovered and no further payments were made.
“We urge the speaker to ensure that the recommendations of the MPAC are implemented in full and all those allegedly implicated are held accountable,” he said.
Yesterday, the mayor for the Greater Letaba local municipality, Peter Matlou, reserved his comment on the matter and referred all queries to Shirova.
Shirova said the municipality had since given three directors, and the deputy manager, written warnings for the part they played in the transaction.
“We have also instructed the former municipal manager has 12 months to repay the money lost.
“She has since paid R60,000 and is expected to brief council on how far she has gone on the matter in November, when the term given for her to pay the money lapses.
“We have further opened a case of fraud against the company and what happens in that part remains in the hands of the police,” said Shirova.