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Ex-mayor's case ditched

By unknown | Sep 08, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Alfred Moselakgomo

Alfred Moselakgomo

A former Mpumalanga district mayor, Jerry Ngomane, had his theft case thrown out of court after his lawyers successfully applied for his acquittal.

Together with former Ehlanzeni municipal manager, Thoko Mashiane, Ngomane was implicated in a R500000 fraud case.

The Ehlanzeni municipality took the two to court, alleging that they were guilty of theft after they had allegedly benefited from fraudulent claims amounting to R244516,67 for an incomplete bulk water supply project in Sabie, and the incomplete Mziti bridge project in Nkomazi.

The money was allegedly siphoned off the contract without the knowledge of the two companies involved in the projects, Khanyazeno CC and Siyafuna Construction.

Alternatively, Ngomane and Mashiane were accused of illegally charging a substantial amount for completion certificates, which should have been issued free of charge to the contractors.

The municipality argued that in terms of these contracts, sureties were completed in favour of the municipality, which could only be released on the issuing of completion of work certificates by the consulting engineers.

"The release of these sureties was at the discretion of the director of municipal works, William Mziza, and it was not in the portfolio of the executive mayor nor the municipal manager to release them to contractors," claimed the municipality.

The case has been dragging on since 2004, and last week the lawyers representing both Mashiane and Ngomane convinced the Nelspruit regional court that if indeed the municipality had a case against their clients, the matter would have been settled a long time ago.

Both Ngomane and Mashiane lost their jobs in 2006 after investigations by forensic auditors as well as the public protector and other investigating bodies.

"This was a political issue and I always believed that it could have been resolved politically," Mashiane told Sowetan yesterday.

Mashiane and Ngomane have threatened to sue the municipality.


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