South Africa 9.8.2018 10:49 am

Limpopo officials caught up in yet another petrol card scandal

An opposition councillor alleges officials in a municipality in the middle of nowhere blew nearly R3m on buying fuel for themselves in less than four months.

Following alleged evidence that officials in a Limpopo municipality used their taxpayer-funded petrol cards to pay for petrol for their private vehicles, the DA has asked for all of them to be suspended.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Mogalakwena has written to the Limpopo MEC for cooperative governance, Jerry Ndou, to immediately suspend Mogalakwena municipality officials that were allegedly involved in an irregular fuel transaction scandal amounting to more than R2.9 million during November 2017 to February 2018.

“The DA is in the possession of the report that confirms that the municipality has indeed suffered a serious financial loss as a results of these fraudulent transactions by municipal officials,” said Mogalakwena councillor for the DA Korny Dekker.

“According to this report, the matter was brought to the attention of the municipal manager to establish urgent investigations into the transactions, which involve technical department and community service department vehicles to the tune of R1.95 million and R963 289, respectively.

He alleged that none of the registration numbers on the merchant slips or garage slips belonged to the municipality, and all the transactions exceeded the fuel cards’ allocated capacity.

“The DA can confirm that investigations were conducted and a criminal case was opened by the municipality at Mahwelereng Police Station (CAS 120/05/2018).”

The case was supposedly taken over by the Hawks for further investigation, but no arrests had, however, been made to date.

Dekker said investigations had recommended that permanent staff members be appointed to deal specifically with fleet and related matters – which included weekly inspections of all council vehicles for damages and loss; the centralising of the fleet to improve monitoring to prevent the theft of fuel, the abuse of council vehicles and the detection of irregularities as early as possible; that the council vehicle policy be reviewed; that a fleet management committee be established to support and ensure the smooth and effective running of the unit; and that all municipal vehicles be branded with a permanent mark to discourage abuse.

“It is clear that the municipality is deliberately delaying implementing these recommendations to protect these corrupt officials,” alleged Dekker.

“The DA urges MEC Ndou to immediately intervene by ensuring that these recommendations are implemented and the implicated officials are held accountable for defrauding the municipality.”

 

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