mayor fired over R800000

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

The KwaZulu-Natal cabinet has fired eMandlangeni municipality mayor Mabhutana Khoza for financial mismanagement estimated at more than R800000.

Khoza is also the IFP speaker in the council.

The cabinet has resolved to implement the recommendations of a special committee constituted to conduct disciplinary hearings into Khoza's conduct.

The move comes after the findings of a special committee appointed by MEC for local government, housing and traditional affairs Mike Mabuyakhulu.

It was tasked with investigating and making findings on allegations that Khoza was involved in mismanagement, maladministration and fraud and corruption.

Mabuyakhulu took over the executive powers of the municipality and suspended the mayor and other officials accused of maladministration, fraud and corruption in November last year.

The municipality has a budget of R20 million.

Mabuyakhulu had received various reports of maladministration, fraud, corruption and other serious malpractices in the municipality.

As a result of the reports he decided to investigate the complaints and appointed a firm of forensic investigators to probe the allegations.

The investigators recommended that disciplinary action be taken against Khoza and others for failing to comply with the municipality's recruitment, selection and appointment policy and irregularities in the allocation of sites.

Khoza was charged with irregular conduct in the allocation of sites at Groenvlei in Utrecht and financial misconduct in that he abused his travel and subsistence allowance by making false claims and inflating some.

It's alleged that Khoza also caused conflict among the community by allocating sites.

Mabuyakhulu said the executive committee believed that the offences that Khoza was found to have committed involved dishonesty and it would be in the public interest if he were removed from office.

"We want to reiterate that dishonesty and maladministration in local government will not be tolerated for it causes our people to lose confidence in this critical sphere of government," he said.

"Actions such as those in Utrecht damage the image of the government and should be dealt with appropriately.

"The moment a public representative makes fraudulent claims saying he or she attended a meeting it becomes misconduct."