ANC Gert Sibande leader Walter Mngomezulu ordered that the municipal leadership goes to lay the corruption charges themselves and gave them a 24 hour deadline.
Corruption at one of Mpumalanga’s most corrupt municipalities has now been reported to the cops by the municipal leadership itself.
This follows an instruction for the municipality to act on the R100-million wasted in fraud and corruption in just one year.
Dipaleseng mayor Khethiwe Moeketsi, speaker Xolani Shozi and municipal manager Lwazi Cindi went to the Balfour police station last Wednesday and opened the criminal case.
It is a case based on the forensic report released by former co-operative governance MEC Busi Shiba early this year.
The report shows that former CFO Clement Letsoalo single-handedly ran the municipal FNB module and transferred money as he wished to tenderprenuers and without the involvement of a municipal manager.
The report covers the time between June 2019 and June 2020, where close to R100-million was squandered by officials in fraud, corruption and bad governance.
Gert Sibande ANC chairman Walter Mngomezulu, who is also district mayor, is said to have ordered that the municipal leadership goes to lay the corruption charges at the police station following a 7-month long outcry over the municipality’s alleged unwillingness to account for the wrongdoing contained in the report.
Mngomezulu gave them a 24-hour deadline, starting from Monday after meeting with the municipal leadership.
By 12 midday Wednesday 31 August 2022, Moeketsi, Shozi and Cindi – accompanied by EFF councillor Sibongile Nhlapho – were done laying the charges.
Cindi, recently appointed municipal manager, is seen by some as “principled” and a beacon of hope to turn things around in favour of the community after previous municipal managers engaged in wrongdoing with impunity.
Sources at the Balfour police station told 013NEWS that the mayor, speaker and municipal manager laid charges of fraud, corruption and money-laundering against anyone mentioned in the forensic report – mainly former CFO Clement Letsoalo and former municipal finance manager Sindile Phiri, who is currently taking refuge in Msukaligwa as acting CFO.
Both Letsoalo and Phiri ran a mafia system that allegedly specialised in transferring municipal money to individuals for self-benefit.
For example, Letsoalo tranfered R431 000 to Themba Zwane, a rich local tenderprenuer, on the sunny Sunday midday of 12 April 2020. The money was allegedly transferred to the businessman’s liquor store company.
Police sources said they will give the matter to the Hawks to investigate.
Municipal spokeswoman Phindile Sidu promised to comment but never did.
“Statement still under review, will receive as soon as possible,” she said soon after the case was opened Wednesday last week.
(edited by ZK)
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