Five licensing staff charged with theft, fraud

Frank Maponya

Frank Maponya

The Polokwane municipality has suspended five of its licensing department officials accused of theft, fraud and misappropriation of funds.

The officials were suspended with full pay on April 12 pending a disciplinary hearing.

A spokesman for the municipality, Simon Mokoatedi, said the council had commissioned a forensic investigation to determine the cause of financial irregularities at the licensing department.

Mokoatedi said that as a result of the investigation, disciplinary action had been instituted against the five.

He identified the suspended officials as Maudie Phasha, Margaret Southon, Monica Seletela, Kgopa Madisha and Kgabo Mabotja.

Mokoatedi said investigations were continuing and that the officials were expected to appear before a disciplinary hearing on Monday.

He could not give details of the allegations against the officials or reveal the conditions of their suspension.

"The matter is sub judice and it would be unprofessional to reveal details of the activities of the officials because that might weaken our case," he said.

According to a source at the municipality, the irregularities came to light when officials were found to have accumulated property that cost more than their earnings were likely to allow.

"When someone gathers wealth in a questionable way, it raises eyebrows," the source said.

Mokoatedi said the municipality had transferred five temporary staff to the licensing department to replace the suspended officials.