VBS-implicated CFO changes councils

Palesa Makhubela reportedly asked for more of a kickback for allegedly illegally investing public funds in VBS Mutual Bank.
Palesa Makhubela reportedly asked for more of a kickback for allegedly illegally investing public funds in VBS Mutual Bank.
Image: Zoutpansberger

Greater Tzaneen local municipality in Limpopo has been accused of failing to take action against its chief financial officer, who was implicated in the VBS Mutual Bank scandal during stint at Makhado Local Municipality.

The municipality's CFO, Palesa Makhubela, was implicated after advocate Terry Motau found WhatsApp conversations between her and politician Kabelo Matsepe in which Makhubela allegedly demanded R33,000 for her role in facilitating the investment.

She was Makhado municipality's CFO at the time.

The municipality invested R61m in the collapsed VBS.

SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) provincial secretary Patrick Aphane said the municipality was failing its people by keeping someone who had unduly benefited from the public funds.

"The provincial government's forensic report was very clear that all municipal managers and CFOs who had invested the money [in VBS] should step down. Now that they are aware Makhubela is implicated, they shouldn't hide behind legal opinions, they must be rational and terminate her contract," Aphane said.

Makhubela was not available for comment at the time of going to print yesterday.

Motau in court papers against ANC provincial treasurer in Limpopo Danny Msiza revealed that in February 2017 Makhubela said the following to Matsepe: "So I get R33k out of all my efforts, please you in Giyani you must make it up to me."

Matsepe responded by saying, "Cause it's a smaller pie and will get something when the period is six months."

Tzaneen municipality spokesperson Neville Ndlala said at the time of Makhubela's appointment as CFO, the municipality was not aware of the allegations levelled against her.

"These allegations came to light a few months after her appointment. We have actually conducted all the necessary background checks [vetting] and nothing adverse came out of these checks," Ndlala said.

"We must concede that these are serious allegations and alleged misconduct of our CFO is in relation to her previous employment at Makhado local municipality."

Ndlala said they had no legal basis to take any disciplinary action against Makhubela as the alleged misconduct was with her previous employer.

Premier Stanley Mathabatha's spokesperson, Kenny Mathivha, said action will be taken against those implicated after police investigations had been completed.

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