Mkhondo Local Municipality corruption comes to the fore

Issued by Irene Brussow – DA Caucus Leader in Mkhondo Local Municipality
17 Nov 2022 in Press Releases

The DA in Mkhondo has gathered that the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) intends on implementing Section 106 of the Municipal Systems Act. 

Exercising this act on the municipality will see the department’s MEC, Mandla Msibi appoint an investigation team to look into allegations of corruption, nepotism, maladministration and fraud. 

In a letter directed to the executive mayor, Mthokozisi Simelane, the department requested a meeting with the municipality’s top brass and the acting Municipal Manager to discuss its intention to investigate a number of maladministration allegations. 

Among these allegations is nepotism which has seemingly taken centre stage in the municipality. This comes after several ANC councillors left their positions after they were promised senior roles within the municipality. 

Over the past few months, several key positions in the municipality have been vacant while others have individuals appointed on a temporary basis. 

These include the position of a Municipal Manager, General Manager Technical Service, Corporate General Manager and Municipal Town Planner. 

Some of these positions act as a link between council and the municipality’s administration. Mayor Simelane’s failure to oversee the appointment of skilled individuals to these roles has contributed to the many service delivery concerns. 

On a number of occasions, the council as the governing body of the municipality has failed to carry out its political oversight under the municipality’s function and management of the administration.  

Due to the number of vacant positions the acting Municipal Manager, Bheki Maseko has also failed to perform his objective and operation assessment as the other departments are without leaders. 

It’s of importance to note that during Maseko’s tenure as the municipality’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) the Auditor-General declared several payments in the municipality wasteful, fruitless and unauthorized expenditure. These were to the tune of R260 million. 

Mayor Simelane has clearly failed to stamp his authority and take Mkhondo residents into his confidence. Residents deserve an honest and transparent government who will prioritize service delivery. 

The DA feels that COGTA intervention into the affairs of this municipality is long overdue. We call on the MEC to accelerate his intended investigation and act decisively in dealing with those implicated in any wrong doing.