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By Alex Japho Matlala

Journalist


‘My hands are clean’ – R100m probe doesn’t stop Makgata from landing top job

Amid a R100 million probe, an Mpumalanga official lands a job in Limpopo, raising vetting concerns she is a flight risk.


Resigning in the middle of a R100 million investigation, a Mpumalanga official promptly found a job as a manager in Limpopo’s Elias Motsoaledi municipality.

Namudi Reginah Makgata’s new appointment has now raised questions around the vetting process of that municipality, with Seun Mogotji, secretary-general of the Bolsheviks party of South Africa, claiming there was no vetting.

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“The Municipal System’s Act is clear: a person who applies as a municipal manager must disclose any disciplinary action meted against them from their previous place of work, whether pending or finalised.”

Suspicious reworking of budget

When Makgata resigned a fortnight ago from Steve Tshwete, the R17 million budget for the municipality’s Mhlusi Power Station she was tasked to oversee allegedly escalated to over R100 million.

The council had planned to freeze her pension fund and press criminal charges against her.

Another director, who was suspended with her, resigned and is still being probed, a source told The Citizen.

Makgata yesterday confirmed she was once suspended before she resigned. “Yes, I was suspended in November last year, but the suspension was lifted a few months later,” she said.

“Last month, the investigation team arranged an interview with me. The interview was in line with the allegations levelled against me. But they failed to show up,” Makgata said.

“I then saw the opportunity of a job interview at another council. I applied for the job and the rest is history. My hands are clean,” she said.

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Elias Motsoaledi municipal spokesperson Simon Makua said there was nothing wrong with the appointment of the new manager.

“We have done the library. Our team has vetted the applicant and appointed her after finding out that she is clean. All that you are saying is news to us,” said Makua.

Yesterday, cooperative governance, human settlement and traditional affairs MEC Basikop Makamu, whose department is charged with the responsibility to oversee the day-to-day functions of the province’s 25 local and district municipalities, confirmed Makgata’s appointment, adding that her presence would enhance the rate of service delivery at the council.

But Mogotji disagreed. “The mere fact that she is still under investigation makes her a flight risk. What will happen if the investigation proves she is guilty while the power project remained a white elephant,” he asked.

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