We’ve paid back the money - officials

2014-10-01 22:20

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Mbombela - Officials at Ehlanzeni district municipality in Mpumalanga's capital city have complied with Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's recommendation that they pay back half the money irregularly shared among officials following an international trip.

In her report, titled "Free money for all," Madonsela found that district manager Advocate Hugh Mbatha failed to prevent the unlawful transfer of R165 505 deposited into the credit card of a district official who was part of a delegation to Italy in 2008. The delegation spent R45 505 and returned to South Africa with R120 000, which they shared among themselves.

The delegation included Mbatha, former mayor Khosi Mkhonto and current Mayor Letta Shongwe, who was a councillor at the time, another councillor and two other officials.

“The executive mayor and the municipal manager and an official have paid the money [they owed] in full and the total money recovered from that is R60 000. We did not ignore the recommendations by the public protector as the officials have paid their dues to the council," said district spokesperson Lucky Ngomane on Wednesday afternoon.

Ngomane told African Eye News Service that the money was deducted from the three in monthly instalments until their debt was settled.

He said the rest of the money could not be deducted from the three people who shared the Italy spoils.

"The others are no longer working for the municipality and for that reason we have not been able to enforce deductions from their salaries. As a district municipality we commend the three who have displayed exemplary leadership by complying with the public protector's recommendations," said Ngomane.

He said the municipal council is yet to deliberate on how to recover the remainder of the money from the others.

Read more on:    thuli madonsela  |  mbombela  |  local government

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