Provide space for legal processes to unfold on the R5.4 million fraud – SDM

GROBLERSDAL – Sekhukhune District Municipality (SDM) confirmed it received a letter from the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the district, which sought the Executive Mayor, Stanley Ramaila’s implementation of recommendations of the R5.4 million fraud saga.

This after the DA recently announced that it wrote to the district executive mayor to immediately implement all recommendations pertaining to investigations of fraudulent payments of over R5.4 million paid into wrong accounts in July 2018.

The forensic audit investigation came after financial systems of the municipality were allegedly hacked, leading to R5.4 million deposited into wrong accounts belonging to persons and institutions outside the municipality.

Investigations discovered that the fraud involved seven officials attached to the Information Technology and Finance departments of the municipality.

The district municipality said the executive mayor had since requested that he be given a chance to deal with the matter logically.

Some of the reasons the district municipality gave therefore, were that the case was being handled internally through labour processes and secondly, the Hawks were also handling the case.

In an email, Willy Mosoma, SDM Spokesperson, said what that meant was that executive mayor couldn’t interfere with the two legal processes.

The opposition party in the district further alleged the municipality had already spent over R3 million on legal processes in relation to the forensic investigations and that it had reliably been informed that the cost had exceeded over R11 million in tax payer’s money. It further called for the acceleration of the process to appoint a Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

However, Mosoma said the executive mayor wished to dismiss the opposition party’s allegations that the municipality did not have a CFO since Mpho Mofokeng had been appointed and started work in March 2019.

“And also to say R11 million has been spent on the case is not true. However, the executive mayor’s pending final report will give such details. Important to note is that the executive mayor will not be deterred in his fight against fraud and corruption due to financial constraints,” added Mosoma.

Executive Mayor Ramaila concluded they would do what it took to fight fraud and corruption because no amount stolen from public purse was little to be recouped.

Ramaila once more, requested space to deal with the matter, acknowledging the public interest that existed and respecting the legal processes underway.  

Thapelo Motseo

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