R15 Million allegedly spent to recover R5.4 million

SEKHUKHUNE – The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Sekhukhune district has on Wednesday 11 August moved that it was appalled that the ANC-led Sekhukhune District Municipality (SDM) has already spent more than R15 million in payments to attorneys and other persons who investigated the theft of R5.4 million from the municipality’s coffers in July 2017 to no avail.

The DA said it has written to SDM Executive Mayor, Stanley Ramaila, to give a full account of what the R15 million was spent on and to explain why the expenditure should not be regarded as fruitless and wasteful.

DA Sekhukhune Caucus leader, Solomon Maila, said the theft, which was perpetrated through the transfer of R5.4 million into multiple private bank accounts, was clearly an inside job and that despite the lengthy suspension, and subsequent reinstatement of several officials employed in the municipality’s finance and Information Technology departments, none of those officials have been arrested, criminally charged or prosecuted for the theft of the public funds.

Maila said it was clear that the delay in the finalization of the criminal case was meant to shield the real masterminds behind the embezzlement of the R5.4 million which was followed by another theft of R12 million without consequence.

“This is further compounded by the fact that the disciplinary cases involving the suspected municipal officials have still not been concluded. It makes very little sense that the municipality would spend more than R15 million of taxpayers’ money to recover R5.4 million. The longer the disciplinary cases take, the more millions of rands will be spent on the matter,” said Maila.

He concluded that the DA believed that both the ongoing disciplinary and criminal cases should be concluded in a prompt manner to ensure the accountability of the officials involved.

“We are committed to ensuring good governance and will continue to monitor this matter until the finalization of the investigation,” said Maila.

Attempts to get SDM’s response on the matter were not successful at the time of going to press.

Thapelo Motseo

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