showdown at council

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

The standoff between the greater Letaba municipality and its dismissed technical services director has taken a new twist.

This after Helger Kruger took the municipality to the South African Local Bargaining Council to object to her dismissal.

The contracts of Kruger and three other section 57 managers were not renewed last month.

Kruger and the municipality will meet next week in Polokwane to give their arguments about the dismissal.

Municipal manager Sakkie Mutshinyali confirmed receipt of the council's letter yesterday.

Kruger was fired last Tuesday after a council meeting decided not to renew her contract.

Corporate services manager Kenneth Shingange, chief finance officer Elias Mangabidi, and economic development planner Castro Maenetja will serve notice until November 30, while Kruger was told to leave the premises within an hour.

Mutshinyali could not explain yesterday why Kruger had not yet been charged, but a source said if charged, she would face charges of gross misconduct, incompetency and fraud.

It is alleged that she accepted R14500 from a white family in Modjadjiskloof for services the municipality was not aware of.

"She has been unable to deliver services to the family since the deal, but the money is reflected in municipal records," said the source.

Sowetan has proof that the money was deposited into Kruger's account at the Absa bank in Tzaneen.

It shows that the family deposited R14500 into her personal account on May 12 though the family had been told to deposit the money into the account of Hero Solutions.

After thorough investigations by the municipality, it found that Hero Solutions did not exist.

The money was allegedly for the purchase of a business plan for a butchery, coffee shop and florist in Modjadjiskloof.

It is also alleged that Kruger ordered electrification of a power line in Modjadjiskloof early this year without the council's approval.

Continued attempts to get comment from Kruger were unsuccessful. Her cellphone was on voice mail.