DA officials walk out over missing R45m

DA members in the Nkomazi municipality have staged a walkout at a council meeting to discuss the condoning of a missing R45million.

The DA is incensed that nobody knows what the money was used for.

DA caucus leader Danisa Maphanga said yesterday they had no alternative but to walk out of the meeting on Friday when it became clear that speaker Cynthia Hlophe was "hellbent on flouting rules irrespectively".

Maphanga said the DA was concerned that the speaker had called the meeting in less than the 24 hours required by the standing orders in terms of a special meeting.

He said there were many meetings in which councillors were called within a short time and that decisions taken during such meetings were invalid and unconstitutional in that procedure was not followed.

Maphanga said the DA had complained several times to executive mayor Johan Mavuso, but he had done nothing to address the matter.

Nkomazi municipality spokesperson Cyril Ripinga confirmed that DA councillors walked out of the meeting but defended the speaker.

"There was a meeting that had taken place about a week before and in that meeting it was agreed by the councillors that they would want to have another meeting within seven days that would be expiring on Friday," Ripinga said.

He confirmed that the meeting would be about the R45million that the municipality had condoned without anyone knowing what it had been used for.

This is the same council in which municipal manager Sabelo Shabangu was fired without testifying to charges against him, forcing Samwu to intervene.

Municipal chief financial officer Sheila Mabaso has also been implicated in gross financial irregularities involving millions of rands by a report compiled by cooperative governance and traditional affairs .