This is due to the financial losses suffered by the municipality as a result of them “neglecting their responsibilities at the municipality”.
THE INVESTIGATION report into allegations of improper conduct and maladministration at the Umsobomvu Municipality has recommended that disciplinary action be taken against the municipal manager, chief financial officer and the accountant for the financial losses suffered by the municipality as a result of “neglecting their responsibilities at the municipality”.
The EFF indicated that it would lay criminal charges against the mayor and all implicated officials on Tuesday.
It pointed out that while no forensic investigation was needed, it was recommended that a R5 million alleged fraudulent expenditure be investigated by the Public Protector.
It was also advised that the municipal manager be suspended while disciplinary actions unfold, to address the “unrest and hostility” in the community where they embarked on protest action.
The community wanted action to be taken into a Hawks investigation into the theft of municipal funds in February 2019 as well as R5 million that was allegedly lost or stolen from the municipal coffers where only one junior official was arrested.
The report stated that according to the Pixley ka Seme internal shared audit that was only able to detect R2,2 million.
“During 2018 the chief financial officer, who at the time was Mr D Visagie, noted during the mid-year engagement that certain salary votes (car allowances) were overspent. There was fraud committed by the payroll clerk Mr S Stali, where false entries were created on the pay sheets of various employees.”
Travelling allowances were also allegedly paid into fictitious bank accounts.
During 2014 and 2019 it was found that fraudulent increases, bonuses and traveling allowances were paid into Stali’s account in order to obtain loans from a micro loan business “in excess of what he qualifies for”.
While disciplinary processes were under way, Stali tendered his resignation and it was accepted on condition that he repay the amount that he unduly benefited from.
The municipality laid criminal charges against him and he was arrested by the Hawks.
The report added that during January 2019, an amount of R10 737, 54 was paid by Stali into the account of Mr SP Khweleta for stand-by and overtime, which he was not entitled to as he did not work overtime.
“The municipality decided that because Khweleta had failed to report to the employer that he had received this money from the municipality, it constituted a lack of honesty and integrity and resulted in the irreparable breakdown in the relationship between him and the employer. As a result of the disciplinary hearing, Khweleta was dismissed in 2019.”
It was indicated that Khweleta was related to Stali.
The report stated that apart from Stali and Khweleta, no other officials were brought to book as far as the R2,2 million fraud was concerned.
“According to disciplinary hearing documents, Stali resigned on August 27 2019 and his resignation resulted in the termination of the investigation. Therefore no other officials were charged.”
It was recommended that disciplinary action be taken against the municipal manager Amos Mpela, former CFO Mr D Visagie and the accountant expenditure, M Mostert for financial losses suffered by the municipality as a result of “neglecting their responsibilities at the municipality”.
It was pointed out that the former CFO and accountant expenditure had failed to perform their supervisory and oversight roles which led to fraud being committed by a junior official within the finance department.