Riddle of who cashed cheque for R1million

Frank Maponya

Frank Maponya

The Greater Marble Hall municipality is buffled by the disappearance of a cheque of nearly R1 million and who cashed it.

The cheque for R945305 disappeared three months ago from the municipality.

It was later cashed at the Braamfontein, Johannesburg, branch of First National Bank on July 15. At the centre of the row is who actually withdrew the money and who authorised the cheque.

Officials at the municipality allegedly clutched at straws when asked where the money had gone and what it had been used for.

Sowetan is in possession of a copy of the cheque, made out to Links Educational Assistance Programme.

It is not known who owns the company and what services it rendered to the municipality.

An internal investigation later revealed the cheque disappeared from the municipality's finance office. The matter was then taken to the police who launched an investigation.

Martha Maphanga, mayor of the muni-cipality, said it was still unclear how the cheque had been cashed. She was also in the dark about any municipal services rendered by Links Educational Assistance Programme.

Spokesman for the municipality, Jan Phasha, said the matter was still under investigation.

"As of now, we have left everything in the hands of the municipality in the hope they will investigate the matter fully," Phasha said.

He said, however, the bank had since returned the money to the municipality after being "pushed to do so".

The money was deposited back into the municipality's account last week. "We had approached the bank about the cheque in question because it was cashed without our authority. We are happy the bank has agreed to refund us," he said.

Phasha said this had been done to try to draw the claimant into the open.

Limpopo police spokesman Senior Superintendent Motlafela Mojapelo said two people had been arrested for fraud in connection with the matter. It was not clear whether the suspects were officials of the municipality.