DA lays charges against Tlokwe mayor

2013-05-23 08:58

The Democratic Alliance laid charges against Tlokwe mayor Maphetle Maphetle in Potchefstroom.

“It is an obligation in terms of section 34 (1) of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act to report criminal activities as listed in the document,” DA MPL Chris Hattingh said yesterday in a statement.

“It has become clear that the ANC Tlokwe council does not have the political will to pursue these findings any further.”

The charges were laid based on the findings of a forensic investigation requested by the DA when it was in charge in Tlokwe.

The forensic report found the council irregularly bought a R736 000 customised Mercedes Benz for Maphetle.

There was also alleged abuse of the Disaster Management Fund and Poverty Relief fund by Maphetle.

The report recommended formal disciplinary action be taken against the mayor and officials.

In November last year, ANC factions in the municipality passed a motion of no confidence in Maphetle.

He was replaced by Annette Combrink – the first DA mayor in the province – when she defeated ANC candidate Lucky Tsagae by 20 votes to 19.

Maphetle was returned as mayor of the Tlokwe municipality in February this year after he won by 31 votes to 21 votes for Combrink.

North West police confirmed charges were laid by the DA yesterday afternoon.

“They [DA] came to the police station to open a charge of corruption and money laundering against the mayor of Tlokwe in Potchefstroom,” Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said.

“The case is open and is going to be investigated and then it will be referred to the Hawks for further investigation.”

Hattingh said many of the charges in the report were used by the ANC in their no confidence motion in Maphetle before the party voted him back in.

“At this stage only six of the original 16 allegations were investigated by the forensic auditors. The outcome is overwhelmingly sufficient to proceed with criminal charges,” he said.

Hattingh said the ANC Tlokwe council did not have the political will to pursue the reports findings.

The DA had handed documentation over to the police to support the charges, he said.

At the time when the forensic report was released, ANC North West spokesman Kenny Morolong said his party was aware of the report on Maphetle and did not recognise it because it was “illegal”.

“The investigation was a DA probe, and not commissioned by the Tlokwe council. This so-called forensic report was never presented before council. Instead we hear about it in the media.”

Morolong said the report was deemed illegal because Combrink appointed a service provider of her own choice without following proper procedures.

“If the report points criminality towards Maphetle, why is the DA not laying a charge with the police instead of running to Madonsela’s office?” Morolong asked.

The “doctored” report was an attempt by the DA to place the ANC in a bad light, he said.

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