VBS saga continues to haunt EMLM

GROBLERSDAL – The Bolsheviks Party of South Africa (BPSA), an opposition in Elias Motsoaledi Local Municipality (EMLM) council reportedly alleges that the local municipality lost R3.2 million in the Venda Building Society (VBS) Mutual Bank saga.

The BPSA reportedly alleged that the loss was incurred after a disciplinary process that revealed that former municipality’s Municipal Manager (MM), Minah Maredi was blamed for the investment which was against the National Treasury’s advice that municipalities should not invest with the now defunct mutual bank.

Recently, the Democratic Alliance (DA) in Limpopo raised concerns on what it termed inaction in Limpopo Provincial Government’s non-implementation of the recommendations and remedial actions contained in the VBS report.

The DA informed that 11 Limpopo municipalities deposited R2 billion of the people’s money, most of which came from towns and villages that have the worst records of service delivery.

However, Limpopo Premier Chupu Mathabatha last week during the Office of the Premier’s budget vote in Lebowakgomo Legislature denounced the claims and said that the reports that he has not taken action on the matter were false.

Premier Mathabatha said that immediately after Adv. Terry Motau’s report on VBS was made public in 2018, he directed the provincial Treasury to commission a forensic Audit into the matter and as a result of such audit, majority of MMs and Chief Financial Officers (CFO)s who were implicated were disciplined or fired for their role in the VBS matter, additionally seven mayors were relieved from their duties.

EMLM is said to have invested R190 million which it, through the National Treasury’s advice, withdrew before the bank collapsed.

According to the BPSA the local municipality indirectly incurred a loss after former MM Maredi’s contract was terminated and paid R1.8 million in a settlement.

Seun Mogotji, BPSA leader, was reported as saying the municipality had to pay the former MM a 12 months’ salary of R1 78 959.96 when she resigned and the legal fees the municipality paid as settlement of the matter amounted to R1 127 849.93 while R289 669 was paid to an acting MM when the former was suspended.

Mogotji reportedly added that the reported R48 000 was therefore not a true reflection of the local municipality’s loss in the VBS saga.

Attempts to get comment from the municipality were not successful at the time of going to press on Tuesday evening as the publication did not receive their comment as promised during a telephonic conversation earlier in the afternoon.

Thapelo Motseo

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