COUNCIL BIG GUNS IN HOT WATER

TOUGH STAND: Misabeni Khosa.
DAMAGE CONTROL: Misabeni Khosa is the new administrator of Mkhondo. 05/07/2009. © Sowetan.
TOUGH STAND: Misabeni Khosa. DAMAGE CONTROL: Misabeni Khosa is the new administrator of Mkhondo. 05/07/2009. © Sowetan.

SENIOR managers at the Mkhondo municipality in Mpumalanga have allegedly misappropriated more than R20million of tax-payers' money earmarked for service delivery.

SENIOR managers at the Mkhondo municipality in Mpumalanga have allegedly misappropriated more than R20million of tax-payers' money earmarked for service delivery.

A preliminary investigation report by a task team appointed by Premier David Mabuza to look into the affairs of the troubled municipality shows that the misappropriated money resulted from the irregular awarding of tenders, misuse of credit cards and fraudulent issuing of driver's licenses.

Earlier this year the provincial government conducted an investigation into allegations of maladministration, fraud, corruption, nepotism, poor service delivery and lack of proper consultation in terms of resource distribution and infrastructure. This followed service delivery protests in Piet Retief.

The investigation report shows that top officials, including municipal manager Roy Ledwaba and executive mayor Andries Gamede had been unduly paid. It has been recommended that the money be recouped from them. It has also been recommended that the officials face disciplinary action.

Some municipal officials and councillors have also been found to have misused municipal credit cards. The use of credit cards has now been discontinued by administrator Misabeni Khosa because "there was no policy to deal with credit cards".

"Disciplinary hearings will be held against the implicated officials," said provincial government spokesperson Mabutho Sithole.

The report also indicated a serious lack of accounting and proper monitoring of municipal vehicles. This had led to misuse of the government fleet and wastage of fuel. Khosa has been given four months to conclude all outstanding matters and traditional affairs MEC Norman Mokoena will oversee the process.

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