Officials bust in fines scam

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

In an anti-graft campaign the Tzaneen municipality in Limpopo has suspended four clerks in the licensing department for theft and fraud.

A further two directors could also be suspended on Friday for misconduct.

The four clerks, Nunu Shandlale, Sam Rametsi, Sedji Tebeila and Justice Shokane, were suspended on Monday on full pay.

Their disciplinary hearing yesterday was postponed after their lawyers failed to arrive.

Municipal manager Mabakane Mangena said yesterday the four were suspended for allegedly stealing an estimated R400000 since last year.

Mangena said the fraudulent scheme was discovered when the book value of traffic fines did not correspond with the money coming in.

"The chief finance officer tipped me off about the suspected scam," Mangena said. "I then ordered an internal audit to investigate the matter.

"The investigations are continuing but preliminary results show that the four have blood on their hands."

Mangena said traffic officers issued fines that were paid to the clerks. The clerks would approach the head of the traffic department and claim that an offender could not afford the full fine.

The traffic head would reduce the fine and the clerks would pocket the difference.

It was not yet clear if the head of the department was also involved in the scam.

Mangena said the suspensions were in line with the clean-up campaign to get rid of those who wanted to enrich themselves with the municipality's money.

Meanwhile, the municipality has summoned director of community services Vincent Maake and director of communication and marketing Solly Mokhashoa to appear before a disciplinary hearing on Friday.

The two directors allegedly ordered councillors not to carry out municipal duties and vilified ANC bigwigs with whom they differ politically.