Mayor ordered to repay travel costs

2008-10-21 00:00

Impendle Mayor Sizakele Makhaye has been ordered by the local municipality’s full council to refund the council the money she used on unauthorised trips between Impendle and Pinetown, which allegedly amounted to over R5 000 per month.

The mayor was also given a formal warning.

It was reported in The Witness earlier this month that a disciplinary committee set up to investigate Makhaye’s alleged misuse of a council vehicle found that she claimed R400 per day. This allegedly amounted to R8 000 per month over and above her car allowance of R4 281.

The committee also found that Makhaye travelled 1 201 km, which was allegedly not authorised, in the municipal vehicle over three days.

She is also alleged to have put in fuel worth R1 938,62 using the council’s petrol card.

The alleged misuse of the municipal vehicle was found to be in breach of council’s code of conduct.

Council had decided that Makhaye should be driven to Pietermaritzburg and fetched from there in the mornings, and make her own way to Pinetown. The municipality’s car should have been parked at the uMgungundlovu District Municipality offices.

The disciplinary committee recommended that council give the mayor a formal warning, reprimand her and impose a fine.

It also recommended that council refer the matter to the MEC for Local Government, Housing and Traditional Affairs, Mike Mabuyakhulu.

Acting municipal manager Sicelo Duma confirmed it was decided at a full council sitting last Thursday to warn the mayor formally and ask her to repay the money.

Duma could not say how much money the mayor is to be asked to pay back. He said the council is still calculating the final figure because the total amount spent on the mayor’s travels reflect both authorised and unauthorised expenditures.

When asked to comment, Makhaye said that she had been advised not to say anything.

thandom@witness.co.za

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