COUNCIL HIT BY GRAFT ROW
THE speaker of the Bushbuckridge municipality, Lerato Theko, allegedly had her boyfriend's hotel accommodation paid for by taxpayers' money during a government indaba.
She is also accused of subsequently failing to attend the provincial public accounts indaba.
This came to light in a secret dossier prepared by suspended Bushbuckridge municipal manager Canzi Lisa in response to enquiries by the executive mayor Milton Morema.
Lisa, who was suspended last Monday, has written Morema a 21-page dossier as his response to his suspension.
Morema, pictured, is likely to officially announce Lisa's suspension at a media briefing today.
The dossier contains damning allegations of corruption against a number of councillors, including Theko, who is also said to be linked to companies benefitting from the council.
According to the dossier, Theko attended the Mpumalanga provincial public accounts indaba for municipalities in Badplaas on April 9 "with a boyfriend, accommodated and served with meals from the government's funds".
"Considering the arranged meals by the provincial government, but the municipality had still to pay breakfast for both as they could not get to the main hall where all were catered for. The speaker decided to have meals in the hotel," reads the dossier.
"The speaker never attended the entire conference for reasons that are obvious," adds Lisa.
He asks if this is the way the "champion of ethical norms within the council should behave" and says these matters require further investigations "and should not to be shoved under the table".
When contacted for comment Lisa refused to talk about the dossier. "You are getting into a wrongterritory," Lisa said yesterday. "If you know about such a dossier please note it is not for the media or the public.
"It is strictly for administration purposes."
Theko could neither confirm nor deny the allegations against her but said she would only comment in the presence of her lawyer.
"My lawyer Bongo advised me to respond in his presence," Theko said in an SMS message.
Sowetan tracked down advocate Bongo Thomas, a chief director for legal services in the department of human settlements, who confirmed to be acting for Theko.
But he could not be reached for comment.