Greater Letaba municipal officials in Limpopo were yesterday relieved that over R1 million, which was mistakenly paid into a bank account of a service provider, was refunded.
In 2016, the municipality appointed a company called Data Tecture to provide computer skills to 25 councillors and officials. The company was managed and owned by former Mopani ANC Youth League regional secretary, Thulani Thwala.
The money was paid by former municipal manager Glory Mashaba. The municipality allegedly paid R1,086,000 to the company’s business account, but no training ever took place.
At the time, Thwala said his company knew nothing about the payment and dared the municipality to investigate. This affected the financial performance of the municipality, resulting into the council getting a qualified audit opinion in 2015-2016 financial year.
“We managed to come out of the woods after the appointment of mayor Peter Matlou in August 2016, who led us to two unqualified audit outcomes, in 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 financial years,” said municipal spokesperson, Lovers Maenetja yesterday.
“We can now confirm that all the R1,086,000 has been paid back into the municipal account. But the case of fraud with the Hawks over the irregular payment is still under investigation.”
It is understood that Mashaba paid the money in tranches between December 2018 and January this year. She paid R50,000 on December, 2018, R110,000 on 20 November, 2019, R100,000 on 10 December, 2019, R300,000 on 23 December, 2019, R190,000 on 10 January and R336,000 on 27 January this year.
Yesterday the Democratic Alliance (DA) said Mashaba’s payment “debacle” was an example of how deep “corruption was embedded in this municipality”.
“If the DA did not put pressure, she [might] have enriched herself with taxpayers’ money while residents continue to suffer,” alleged DA councillor Timothy Maluleke, who hoped the money would be used for service delivery.
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