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Call to probe municipal ‘joy rides’

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The Hawks and the Special Investigating Unit have been requested to probe the alleged misuse of the mayoral vehicle and irregular expenditure at Kgatelopele Municipality.

The mayoral vehicle was apparently used to transport two livestock carcasses. Picture: Supplied

THE HAWKS and the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) have been requested to investigate the alleged misuse of the mayoral vehicle and irregular expenditure at Kgatelopele Municipality.

According to complaints that were lodged this week by the chairperson of the municipal public accounts committee (MPAC), Sylvester Vukeya, “extravagant amounts” were approved for frivolous trips, including a school choir and dance competition, which held no benefit or relevance to the municipality.

Vukeya stated that service delivery was “non-existent”.

He reported the alleged misuse of the Kgatelopele mayoral vehicle to campaign during the voter registration weekend on February 3, where two livestock carcasses were apparently transported in the boot from Upington to Danielskuil.

It was indicated that the car was used by a ZF Mgcawu district councillor to campaign for the ANC and to buy meat and groceries.

“It is concerning to notice the alleged misuse of municipal resources for ANC campaigning. It is serious and raises issues of corruption and irregularity and also contravenes section 52 of the Municipal Financial Management Act, which clearly outlines that unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure is unacceptable and there are consequences for such corrupt actions,” Vukeya stated.

He added that no authorisation was given for the use of the municipal vehicle for ANC duties over the weekend.

“We are disturbed and extremely taken aback by this behaviour from the ANC. Section 32(2) of the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA) stipulates that a municipality must recover unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure from the person liable for that expenditure.”

There were also questions raised over payments made for petrol, meals, accommodation, subsistence and travel allowances, amounting to R11,333.99, for an official from the mayor’s office plus two drivers to attend the ABC Motsepe school choir competition from June 26-28, 2023, at Rhema Bible Church in Randburg.

The municipality was billed R5,280 for accommodation and breakfast at the Summerview Boutique Hotel and conference centre in Bryanston, Johannesburg, on June 26, 2023.

Allowances of R700 for each official were also approved.

The MPAC chairperson also queried a payment of R14,514.81 for accommodation expenses, subsistence and travel allowances for the same high-ranking municipal official, two councillors and a driver to attend an inter-governmental service delivery day in Kakamas from September 20-22.

It is alleged that the invitations to attend these events were “fake” and it is regarded as irregular expenditure.

Another payment of over R9,798 was submitted for a trip from Danielskuil to Johannesburg on February 5, for officials to attend a capacity-building training workshop in Saxonwold this week.

ANC ZF Mgcawu regional secretary David Kazi encouraged any investigation into the allegations.

“Let the Hawks and SIU do their work and wait for their finding. Why are you asking me if you have already concluded that the ANC has been a corrupt party since 1994?”

Hawks provincial spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Tebogo Thebe confirmed receipt of the complaint on February 6 but indicated that it fell outside their scope of work.

“Upon perusal of the correspondence, it was found that the complaint relates to maladministration within a government institution and not corruption per se. It is our view that the matter ought to be dealt with in line with the internal disciplinary policies of the organisation.

“The complainant is further advised to liaise with other government law enforcement agencies such as the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) for further assistance as this may fall within their mandate.”

The SIU and Kgatelopele Municipality had not responded to media enquiries at the time of publication.

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