The Freedom Front Plus (FF+) says it welcomes the decision taken by the Gauteng MEC for cooperative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta), Lebogang Maile, against Sedibeng District Municipality councillors.
Maile has reportedly decided to take action against the councillors who were in favour of the exorbitant salary adjustment for the municipality’s former municipal manager, the late Stanley Khanyile.
Khanyile is alleged to have received a salary of R1.8 million per annum, even though the position was advertised with a salary package of R1.2 million.
The FF+ said Khanyile received the inflated salary from 2018 until he passed away in October this year.
“It is alarming that the exorbitant salary was never brought to the attention of the relevant oversight committees of the Gauteng legislature so that the matter could be addressed.
“The FF+ demands that the councillors of Sedibeng who are implicated in irregularities and unauthorised expenditure during Khanyile’s term as municipal manager by the Cogta report are held accountable and must pay back the money to the municipality.”
The party further said that councillors were elected by the community to serve the people in municipal councils and should therefore be held accountable at all times.
“It is unfair to expect taxpayers to pay for officials and councillors’ misappropriation and corruption and so the FF+ will not hesitate to expose such irregularities.”
Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance (DA) called on Maile to place Sedibeng under administration with immediate effect following what it said was a ‘damning investigative report into allegations of maladministration, fraud, corruption and serious malpractice’.” The report was compiled by Advocate William Mokhari.
“According to the report, no financial systems of control have been put in place by the municipality and internal audits were weakened and incapacitated by the late municipal manager, Stanley Khanyile.”
The DA said Sedibeng did not have a supply chain management policy, which would “provide for a fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost-effective system of the bidding by, and appointment of, service providers”. Sedibeng has the Emfuleni, Lesedi and Midvaal local municipalities under it.
“There are serious cases of irregular expenditure, supply chain mismanagement and procurement deviations as well as corruption. The municipality was without an audit committee for nine months, which is crucial to ensure financial checks and balances.
“The appointment of Khanyile to the municipal manager position was unlawful and invalid. The DA welcomes the recommendations of the report, which states that Sedibeng should be placed under administration.
“The MEC should instruct the state attorney to take steps to recover the monies which were irregularly spent, and disciplinary steps need to be taken against those officials implicated.”
The municipality, in a statement, said it had noted the report.
“A mayoral committee [meeting] will be held where it is expected to consider Adv William Mokhari’s investigation outcome. Thereafter, the mayoral committee will make a formal and comprehensive response to the findings and recommendations.
“Furthermore, it must be noted that the full Advocate Mokhari’s investigation report will be tabled before the council.”
This article first appeared on Sedibeng Star and was republished with permission.