Mayor, manager misled municipality

Frank Maponya

Frank Maponya

Two senior municipal officials have been ordered to repay the council R250000.

The mayor of Elias Motsoaledi council in Groblersdal, Mpumalanga, Lionel Seloane and municipal manager, Langa Kabini, are accused of employing Onica Nkoe as a part-time legal adviser without following council procedures.

It is alleged that Nkoe had a prior romantic relationship with the mayor and that the couple have a child.

According to the DA in the municipality, Seloane and Kabini had signed a contract and appointed Nkoe without consulting the council.

She was appointed last year for a twelve-month contract, after Seloane and Kabini allegedly misled some members of the executive.

During the time Nkoe was employed, she was allegedly paid R29000 a month for working half a day.

When the contract expired in August, Nkoe allegedly demanded an increment which would have increased her monthly salary to R42000.

The matter came to light when the council was due to debate her proposal of a three-year contract.

Rots Alberts, DA leader in the municipality, said they were opposed to Nkoe's extended contract "because her appointment was never made known to the council".

Alberts said: "We have since ordered Seloane and Kabini to pay back the R250000 paid to Nkoe in salaries since she started working at the municipality because her existence in the municipality was never made public."

He said that the council had also found a report by Kabini about the appointment which was "inaccurate, misrepresentative, untruthful and misleading".

Municipal spokesman Moffat Mokganyetsi yesterday confirmed that Kabini and Seloane were ordered to pay back the money.

He said Nkoe's appointment would be investigated.

Mokganyetsi said that the findings from the investigation would guide the council on whether to proceed with action against the mayor and municipal manager to pay back the money.

"As for Nkoe, her immense contribution to the municipality since she started working has contributed to the upliftment of the institution," said Mokganyetsi.

He said a council sitting next Tuesday will decide on what steps to take.