DA lodges Section 34 complaint against Tzaneen Municipality

This week the Democratic Alliance (DA) lodged a complaint in terms of section 34 of the Prevention and Combatting of Corrupt Activities Act 12 of 2004 against Greater Tzaneen Municipality (GTM) with request for an investigation by the Hawks into their corrupt activities.

The complaint follows an appearance of a GTM delegation before the portfolio committee of the Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (GoGTA) to answer for their role in governance failures on 6 December 2019.

It transpired that 2 tenders described as the Maluti and Codesa access road projects with a combined value of R37 million, ballooned to almost R75 million.

The Municipal Manager at the time, Serapelo Matlala , cancelled the tenders after discovering fraudulent claims made by the tenderer, was placed on precautionary suspension by the Mayor, Speaker and Chief Whip. This questionable suspension was enforced despite the fact that they were informed of the fraudulent claims.

The justification for their decision was that the Mr Matlala refused to reinstate and re-negotiate the conditions of the contract although they had full knowledge that the contract was fraudulent.

As a consequence the Mr Matlala was charged with misconduct and fund guilty. The labour court has since overturned their decision.

At the portfolio committee meeting, Mayor Maripe Mangena conceded that he was aware of kickbacks and other benefits paid by the tenderer to certain officials. This evidence is contained in the audio/visual recording of parliament.

It follows therefore the reason why pressure was placed on the Municipal Manager to reinstate the contract, was to keep the kickbacks coming.

Section 34 of the Prevention and Combatting of Corrupt Activities dictates that if a person holds a position of authority and who knows or ought to have known or suspect that any other person have committed fraud, corruption, forgery and extortion among others, involving an amount of more than R100 000, it must be reported to a police official.

Section 34 further gives the National Commissioner 3 months to table his directions before parliament where after any directions must be published in the Goverment Gazette. We will monitor the timeframes and progress herein carefully

The DA will not stand idly by and watch how service delivery in our municipalities crumble under the weight of malfeasance and corruption by the ruling party. The Auditor-General’s overall assessment of the 27 Limpopo municipalities, recognizes only 3 as good.

The DA is the only party who, through clean governance can expand service delivery, infrastructure development, investment promotion and programmes to assist jobless young people. We have a proven track record that we can turn things around.

by Jacques Smalle MPL – DA Spokesperson on COGHSTA

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