councillor accused of R120000 fraud
INCENSED ward committee members in Mhlabuyalingana have called on local government MEC Nomusa Dube to investigate their councillor.
Ward One committee members have accused councillor and committee chairperson Paul Ngubane of defrauding them and the Mhlabuyalingana municipality of thousands of rands.
A committee member, who wished to remain anonymous, said according to the municipality's regulations and guidelines every member of the committee is supposed to receive a stipend of R80 for every meeting attended.
"We are a 10-member committee and Ngubane is our chairperson because he is a councillor," he said. "We have attended about nine official meetings since last year but we have not been paid.
"When we confronted him about the stipend he became violent. Realising that we were not going to get a cent or even a positive answer from him, we decided to go to the municipality."
He said committee members from other areas were getting their stipend, which made them suspect that something was wrong. The committee member said when they arrived at the municipal offices they were given answers they had anticipated but were not prepared for.
"According to their records, our councillor has been getting the money, signing for it, but it never reached us. The money owed to us is about R120000.
"But none of us has ever seen or smelt any money, which is why we feel the MEC has to intervene and help us."
He said not a single meeting had been called since they started asking questions about the money.
Municipal manager Eric Manqele confirmed he was aware of the complaint from the committee.
"They have laid a complaint with me but at this stage I can't say whether the allegations are true or not," Manqele said.
"I will write to the speaker, notifying him of the complaint and report the matter to the council.
" If the council gives me the go-ahead I will institute an inquiry I will then be in a position to say the allegations are true or not."
Head of department of the directorate of community services, Musa Ngubane, confirmed that he signed a requisition form but "I don't know what happened thereafter".
Ngubane was not available for comment yesterday.