Sources are currently leaking out information of corruption at the municipality to journalists while they ask the Hawks to come probe their “power-drunk” leaders.
An 013NEWS investigation has uncovered how a brand new, high-end Toyota bakkie – red in colour – was bought by two dodgy tenderpreneurs for the personal use and benefit of Dipaleseng mayor Khethiwe Moeketsi.
The Legend 50 double cab was bought by tenderpreneurs who are implicated in an investigation report that was released by co-operative governance MEC Busi Shiba just recently and which awaits an “action plan” from the Dipaleseng local municipality in Balfour.
The forensic investigations found that close to R100-million was plundered in fraud, corruption and bad governance at the Dipaleseng municipality, Mpumalanga.
It covered the period between June 2019 and July 2020.
The two tenderpreneurs who bought the mayor the vehicle – Ishmael Nemukula and Zwivhuya Mushanganyisi – are from the Limpopo province and they own a security company known as Clear Point Security & Hygiene Services, which was awarded a 3-year tender to guard municipal assets at the Dipaleseng municipality starting from November 2019.
Investigators found that Clear Point Security didn’t follow proper processes when officials gave it the municipal security tender.
In October 2020, the red bakkie was delivered to Moeketsi who was then the speaker of the municipality – after the bakkie was bought from East Rand Toyota in Gauteng by Nemukula and Mushanganyisi through their Clear Point Security company.
The investigation report shows that tender officers at the Dipaleseng local municipality “insisted” on hiring the Clear Point Security company – choosing it from 23 bidders who applied for the security tender and even “using reasons that were not truthful” when rejecting the other security companies just so that Clear Point Security was given the R20-million tender.
The bakkie was then bought for the speaker just months following the company being given the tender at the municipality.
Sources who supplied the 013NEWS reporter with documents of corrupt activities say the bakkie changed ownership 3 times in just one single day – first when it was bought at East Rand Toyota the bakkie had a Gauteng number plates and soon it got Limpopo number plates when its ownership was transferred to an insurance company.
“From the insurance company, it went to be owned by Clear Point Security and immediately it was transfered into Khethiwe Moeketsi’s name and had Mpumalanga number plates on 21 October 2020,” one of the sources said, adding that they suspect the company had been funding most of Moeketsi’s lavish lifestyle and they don’t believe she could have afforded it with a mere councilor’s salary.
The car is a Toyota Hilux 2.8 GD-6 Raised Body Legend-50 6-speed automatic and was released by the Toyota Motor Corporation as one its worldwide best-sellers in mid-2019, clocking the scale R600 000.
Moeketsi is also a regional executive committee (REC) member of the ANC in the Gert Sibande region and is a close ally of regional chairman Muzi Chirwa who eyes the position of ANC provincial secretary when the 13th elective congress is finally held.
Moeketsi didn’t answer enquires sent by the 013NEWS reporter to her WhatsApp messenger this week Tuesday 8 March 2022 about whether she had any proof of payment for the vehicle she owns.
Also Nemukula and Mushanganyisi didn’t reply to detailed questions as well as former chief financial officer (CFO) Clement Letsoalo who is said to have facilitated the purchase of the bakkie for Moeketsi’s use.
Letsoalo is also implicated in the investigations report as the man who played a major role in the squandering of close to R100-million of municipal funds in fraud and corruption – and who increased his own salary and influenced the “irregular appointment” of companies that later paid kickbacks for getting the tenders.
Letsoalo is also accused of being a “de facto owner”, of the Clear Point Security company, and uses the two directors as front.
Sources say in fact 3 bakkies were bought by the Clear Point Security company – one of them is the one in Moeketsi’s possession, another was allegedly taken by Letsoalo and the third one is used by the Dipaleseng municipality as a municipal asset.
FF+ councillor in the municipality, Carel Pienaar, said the issue of the bakkie to Moeketsi is known by everyone in the community and it’s unfortunate because “this matter happened outside of the scope of the current 106 investigation report”.
“A new investigation into this needs to be launched,” Pienaar said, adding that the investigations should look into why a service provider would just buy a car for a sitting speaker.
“It is highly suspicious when a contractor buys a car for a sitting speaker,” Pienaar told the 013NEWS reporter.
Another source in the opposition parties say they heard that the security guards belonging to the Clear Point Security company have recently not been paid their salaries for a period of 2 months but 013NEWS has not been able to independently verify this information.
“Clear Point Security used to pay a lot of councillors of the previous administration some money so that their contract remains in place and they never concentrated on matters of safeguarding the municipal assets. There was a break-in at the municipal licence office and a large amount of cash and firearms were stolen,” the source said.
Municipal spokeswoman Phindile Sidu has promised actions would be taken following the release of the forensic investigations report on 10 February 2022.
(edited by ZK)
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