update


Fuel fraud: ‘Heads must roll’

It is alleged officials have used the municipality’s petrol cards to pay for petrol for their private vehicles.

LIMPOPO – This came after Bosveld exposed the fraudulent transactions that the Hawks are in the process investigating (Bosveld Review dated 27 July-3 August).

Hawks zoom in on R2,9m municipal fuel fraud

Korny Dekker, DA Councillor in Mogalakwena said he has written to the MEC for Co-operative Governance, Jerry Ndou, to immediately suspend Mogalakwena Municipality officials who are allegedly involved in irregular fuel transactions of more than R2.9 million during November 2017 to February 2018. “It has surfaced that officials have used the municipality’s petrol cards, and therefore the people’s money, to pay for petrol for their private vehicles.”

Dekker said the DA is in the possession of the report that confirms that the municipality has indeed suffered a serious financial loss as a result of these fraudulent transactions by the municipal officials.

“According to this report, the matter was brought to the attention of the municipal manager to establish urgent investigations into the transactions that involve the Technical Department and Community Service Department vehicles to the tune of R1,95 million and R963 289 respectively. None of the registration numbers on the merchant slips or garage slips belongs to the municipality and all the transactions exceeded the fuel cards’ allocated capacity.”

According to Dekker the DA confirm that investigations were conducted and a criminal case was opened by the municipality at Mahwelereng Police Station (CAS 120/05/2018) but taken over by the Hawks for further investigation.

No arrests have been made to date.

The investigations have recommended the following to be implemented:

• Assets and Fleet management office to appoint permanent staff members who will deal specifically with the fleet and related matters that include weekly inspection of all the council vehicles for damages and loss;

• The fleet needs to be centralised to improve monitoring to prevent theft of fuel, abuse of council vehicles and detect irregularities as early as possible;

• Council vehicle policy be reviewed;

• The Fleet Management Committee needs to be established to support and ensure the smooth and effective running of the unit; and

• All municipal vehicles are branded with a permanent mark to discourage abuse.

Dekker alleged that it is clear that the municipality is deliberately delaying to implement these recommendations to protect the corrupt officials.

“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.”

The Head of Communications for Mogalakwena Municipality, Malesela Selokela did not comment before the newspaper went to print.

[email protected]

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  AUTHOR
Mariëtte Roos
Journalist (Bosveld Review)

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