The report recommended that the former municipal manager of Phokwane Municipality, Moeketsi Dichaba, should be criminally charged for gross financial misconduct
THE SECTION 106 investigation into Phokwane Municipality that was compiled in March 2015, was finally presented to council yesterday.
No explanations were offered by either the municipality or the Department of Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (Coghsta) as to why it took four years for the report to be presented.
The report, among others, investigated the unwillingness of the Phokwane municipal council to attend to allegations of fraud, maladministration, corruption and dereliction of duties by the municipal managers, non-compliance with legislation, breach of the code of conduct by councillors as well as flouting of supply chain management procedures and possible gross financial misconduct by councillors and municipal officials.
The report recommended that the former municipal manager of Phokwane Municipality, Moeketsi Dichaba, should be criminally charged for gross financial misconduct.
Dichaba resigned from the municipality in 2014 and was later appointed as HOD for the Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison in 2017.
The report was commissioned by Coghsta upon instruction of the former minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), Pravin Gordhan, in 2014, following a complaint that was lodged by Vaalharts AfriForum, to investigate maladministration, corruption, non-compliance and malpractice at Phokwane Municipality.
The allegations ranged from the failure of Phokwane Municipality to institute disciplinary proceedings against the former municipal manager, following allegations of corruption and dereliction of duties, failure to act on serious misconduct and non-compliance and failure to table the auditor-general’s report as well as the mounting debt owed to the municipality by councillors.
A team consisting of legal minds as well as officials who were experts on municipal compliance were appointed to investigate the mayor, Speaker, councillors and municipal manager employed at the municipality at the time.
It advised that steps should be taken against the mayor for financial misconduct, where costs were escalated from R5 million to R19 million for the 900 square metre paving project in Tlhwahalang in Jan Kempdorp.
There were further allegations regarding the involvement and partnering by the former municipal manager and the appointment of cronies, nepotism, poor financial management and failure to act on the auditor-general’s audit report.
Several serious service delivery issues were reported by the Ganspan community as well as the Community Development Forum representing communities in Pampierstad, Mountain View, Phatshima and Sakhile.
The team also investigated the failure of the municipality to fulfil its obligations.
The team called for the allegations to be investigated by the Special Investigating Unit and/or SAPS, where councillors should be charged for misconduct due to poor performance and neglect of duties.
It stated that all officials and councillors implicated in the report should be subjected to “corrective disciplinary processes” and that “all irregular, wasteful and unauthorised expenditure committed by the former municipal manager be properly determined and accordingly recovered”.
The spokesperson for Coghsta, Xhanti Teki, confirmed that the MEC for Coghsta, Bentley Vass, had yesterday presented the findings of the Section 106 investigation during a closed meeting.
“The section 106 is a legislative process where it is mandatory to implement the recommendations of the report.”
The spokesperson for Phokwane Municipality, Kgalalelo Letshabo, said the report would be discussed during a special council meeting that will take place on Monday morning (January 28).
“Council will chart a way forward as per the findings and recommendations.”