Contractor set to get paid after l0 years

Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane ruled against the Greater Letaba municipality.
Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane ruled against the Greater Letaba municipality.
Image: Thapelo Morebud / The Sunday Times

Justice is close to being served to a businessman after a 10-year fight with the local municipality to pay him for rendered services.

Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane ordered the Greater Letaba municipality in Limpopo to pay businessman Isaac Mankga almost R1m that was irregularly paid to Lucky Shiloane of Mapuputla General Trading in 2011.

Mkhwebane ordered the municipality to pay Mankga R950,861.52 with interest and to institute disciplinary action against any official responsible for the irregular payment to Mapuputla General Trading.

Mankga lodged a complaint with the municipality on September 20 2011 regarding the fraudulent cession agreement entered into between Shiloane and the municipality. He requested that it be cancelled immediately and that future payments be made directly into the bank account of his company, Star Mirls.

"The complainant, Mankga, suffered prejudice and financial loss as a result of the failure by the municipality to exercise due diligence and verify the validity of the claims," Mkhwebane said.

"There was no valid cession agreement between Star Mirls, Mapuputla Trading and the municipality. The cession agreement had to be signed by the contractor, the client and the subcontractor for it to be valid."

The public protector has further recommended that the speaker of the council must ensure that within 30 days from the date of receipt of the report, the council, in consultation the municipal manager, must declare the payment made to Mapuputla an irregular payment .

"The council should institute civil action against Mapuputla Trading to recover the amount of R950,861.52, which was improperly paid."

She further found that the conduct of the municipality constitutes maladministration and improper conduct.

Greater Letaba municipal manager Innocent Sirhova had told Mkhwebane that the municipality paid Mapuputla Trading since all the affairs of Stars Mirls pertaining to the project were handled by Shiloane because Mankga was hardly on site.

Municipal spokesperson Lovers Maenetja didn't respond to questions at the time of going to print.

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