Free State taxpayers in dark over probes
Bloemfontein - Free State taxpayers had no idea what forensic probes at municipalities were costing them, the Democratic Alliance said on Tuesday.
Free State DA spokesperson Peter Frewen said two investigations cost the province more than R1.8m - the reports of which remained under wraps.
"Whilst Free State taxpayers paid R1 812 762 at the Setsoto and Mohokare local municipalities, the results of the reports remain unknown to the public."
Frewen said Free State Co-operative Governance MEC Mamiki Qabathe told the Free State Legislature the full Setsoto report would be made available, but it was not done.
Departmental spokespersonSienne Bogatsu said the reports the DA was referring to had been presented to the respective councils. It was not in anyway intended to be kept a secret.
Frewen said the Setsoto council had access to only an executive summary with no names supplied to allow councillors to take the necessary action through the correct channels.
He said the Setsoto (Ficksburg) and Mohokare (Zastron) investigations were part of a growing list of full forensic investigation reports, which he claimed were not made public.
The results of investigations at the Matjhabeng (Welkom) and Nala (Bothaville) municipalities were also outstanding.
Bogatsu said the Setsoto, Nala and Matjhabeng councils were issued and presented with their reports.
"These have copies of such reports."
She said reports were withheld for a certain period due to ongoing investigations. Recommendations resulting from the probe were put into effect immediately in Setsoto and Nala .
In Setsoto the municipal manager, CFO and other section 57 managers resigned. In Nala, the municipal manager and the director for infrastructure were subject to an internal investigation.
The director had since resigned and the case against the municipal manager was almost complete.
Frewen said the DA would request the department to reveal what amounts were paid for the forensic audits in the Mathjabeng and Nala municipalities.