Administrators’ terms extended in Emalahleni, Bushbuckridge

2014-08-21 15:03

Mpumalanga’s Cabinet has extended the term of a municipal administrator who’s spent millions of rands on bodyguards for himself and senior officials.

The province’s Health MEC Gillion Mashego said during a post-Cabinet meeting today that Emalahleni local municipality administrator Theo van Vuuren’s contract was being extended, along with that of the team managing the Bushbuckridge municipality.

Mashego supported the extensive spending on security.

“The municipality did face a lot of threats and the environment was not conducive, hence the security,” said Mashego.

The municipality has paid more than R20 million for more than 20 bodyguards to patrol the three floors of the municipal building on Mandela Street.

City Press has seen financial statements that show the municipality has paid Guardian Group R20.3?million between February 28 2013 and May 21 this year.

There is also another security company, Khuphukani, hired at R3 million a month.

Van Vuuren hired the bodyguards after former Emalahleni municipal manager George Mthimunye was marched out of the Mandela Street building by members of the South African Municipal Workers’ Union last February.

The workers accused Mthimunye of corruption. They took him to the ANC Nkangala regional office to “the people who deployed him”.

Van Vuuren said he beefed up security after the Mthimunye incident to protect senior managers who have been tasked with investigating allegations of corruption against municipal employees.

Mashego said Emalahleni faced rapidly mushrooming informal settlements – which put strain on water, sewer and electricity – and the municipality needed more infrastructure to meet the increasing demand.

Bushbuckridge’s problem has been water shortage, he said.

“The Cabinet is pleased with the progress made thus far but concedes that there are still a few leadership and administrative matters to be resolved in both municipalities before the interventions are lifted,” Mashego said.

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