POLOKWANE – Following a fraudulent payments saga, into private bank accounts, which marred Sekhukhune District Municipality (SDM) at the beginning of July this year, the district municipality confirmed it had managed to recover 98% of the money.
Sekhukhune District Municipality Executive Mayor, Stan Ramaila confirmed during a media briefing in Polokwane on Monday morning.
According to the district municipality, amounts of R4 503 122.19 and R948 891.93 respectively were made into incorrect accounts on the 5th and 9th July 2018, totaling R5 452 014.12.
Ramaila said it was worth noting that all the money stated as recovered had been deposited back into the district municipality’s account.
“And further note that apart from the four officials who have been suspended in July, a further two officials have been served with intension to suspend, making the total number of officials six in number,” said Ramaila.
The district municipality further said that R3 042 961.68 was recovered from ABSA, R845 344.62 from Nedbank and R900 000.00 in interest on an account bearing Peermont. The total amount recovered stands at R4 788 306.30.
Ramaila added money still to be recovered from ABSA and Nedbank stood at R94 539.84 and R569 167.98 respectively.
This was through initial interventions of the Acting Executive Mayor, Acting Municipal Manager and the Acting Chief Financial Officer to immediately inform all financial institutions, instructed to freeze all accounts, of the fraudulent activity.
The Acting Municipal Manager’s appointment of a forensic auditor’s firm from the panel of accountants to institute investigations into the matter and attorney’s firm to engage with the banks and approach court to freeze the funds as well as seeking redress from the primary banker and other banks who continued to allow withdrawals despite an instruction to freeze the funds.
Speaking to the paper, Ramaila said: “The fraudulent activity has not affected the district municipality adversely in that: “We have never faced a situation whereby were unable to pay our service providers.”
A criminal case was opened with the Groblersdal SAPS and the case number was provided to the district municipality.
Matimba Maluleka, HAWKS Spokesperson, has since confirmed a case of fraud was under investigations.