Alex Japho Matlala
2 minute read
8 Aug 2020
4:55 am

Nothing wrong with what I did, says Sekhukhune official accused of corruption

Alex Japho Matlala

A special council meeting yesterday gave him seven working days to furnish reasons why he should not be suspended.

Sekhukhune district municipality. Picture: Facebook

A Limpopo acting municipal manager accused of the irregular awarding of Covid-19 immediate intervention tenders to the value of R26 million says he is prepared to comply with the disciplinary processes as required by law, but that did not mean he agreed with the accusations.

“There is nothing wrong [with what] I did,” said Mpho Mofokeng, acting municipal manager for the embattled Sekhukhune district municipality.

“All these companies appointed were chosen from a panel of contractors. That means they have already undergone supply chain management [SCM] processes. Why then accuse me of failing to follow SCM processes?”

Mofokeng was placed on special leave a fortnight ago by executive mayor Stan Ramaila. A special council meeting yesterday gave him seven working days to furnish reasons why he should not be suspended. Mofokeng was baffled that he was the only manager placed on special leave. He expected the other three signatories to face similar treatment.

“I think there is more to this than meets the eye because from where I am standing, politics are at play,” he said.

The multimillion-rand tenders were earmarked to drill boreholes, for cement water pipes and to refurbish old boreholes to provide water to villages hard hit by drought to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. The implementation of the projects was put on hold by the Limpopo High Court in Polokwane after it was found that the appointment process was irregular.

Also read: Sekhukhune mayor ordered to discipline official over alleged corruption

The council endorsed the appointment of director of planning and economic development Molatelo Mabitsela as acting municipal manager. He was asked to start disciplinary processes against those managers, appointed in terms of section 57 of the local government Municipal System Act 44 of 2003, implicated in the matter.

The Bolsheviks party accused the municipality of working at a snail’s pace to bring those implicated to book. It has laid charges of corruption against the municipality with the police, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation and Special Investigating Unit. Its acting general secretary, Seun Mogotji, said the party believed Mofokeng was a sacrificial lamb.

“He is about to be purged by politicians who are gearing up for next year’s ANC elective regional conference. We harbour a belief the municipality is playing mind games, using the public purse to maim those they don’t agree with politically,” said Mogotji.

Since November 2018, the municipality has lost R19.6 million through irregular payment of service providers. The high court interdicted the companies from continuing to implement the projects, saying the appointment process was flawed.

The Citizen apologises to Mofokeng for failing to include his rebuttal in yesterday’s article.

– news@citizen.co.za

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