Allegedly overpaid themselves by R500000

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

Three financial officers at Newcastle municipality in KwaZulu-Natal are in trouble for allegedly paying themselves more than R500000 for overtime.

The municipality's mayor, Phumzile Mbatha-Cele, has launched an investigation to establish whether the chief financial officer Edward le Roux, his deputy Julie Muir and an unnamed assistant were paid according to council procedures.

The report of the probe will be released this week.

This is barely a few months after Henry Armstrong, the municipality's former accountant, was jailed for 10 years for defrauding the municipality of more than R2million.

Municipal manager Abdul Hoosen confirmed they had instituted the investigation, which was led by external auditors.

"Our financial department is short-staffed and the three people had worked overtime dating as far back as 1999. They had exchanged their overtime and annual leave days for cash," said Hoosen

"The auditors will table the report today for me to study it."

He refused to say what steps would be taken against the officials if they are found guilty.

George Adamson, a spokesman for the DA, said he could not comment because the issue had not been tabled at his party caucus.

"We will comment once it is tabled," he said.

Mfanubomvu Zwane, an IFP chief whip, said his party did not not support corrupt officials.