Mpuma cleans up municipality

2010-02-04 17:06

Kwaggafontein - The days are numbered for corrupt officials in Thembisile Hani municipality in Kwaggafontein, Mpumalanga, after their municipal manager was suspended on Monday.

William Kosabo Mahlangu was suspended with full pay during the year's first sitting of the council for his alleged involvement in corruption, and incompetence.

The chairperson of the council's investigating committee, Thami Kubheka, confirmed that Mahlangu had been suspended for his involvement in corrupt activities and incompetency.

R2.6m fraud

“He has been suspended with full pay for undermining the municipal authority and being incompetent. He defrauded the municipality of R2.6m for a fan parks project without the council's authority. He failed to implement decisions from the council, which caused serious problems with service delivery,” said Kubheka on Wednesday.

The alleged fraud relates to Mahlangu awarding tenders to unaccredited companies owned by fellow senior councillors and friends to supply big screens for soccer matches in fan parks between 2008 and 2009.

The money for the fan parks project, which was left incomplete, was paid to companies that were unaccredited service providers without valid tax clearance certificates.

Illegally adjusting salaries

Mahlangu is also accused of illegally adjusting the salaries of senior personnel, including his own and that of executive mayor Victor Nkosi, and not paying out the full salaries of ward councillors.

The adjustments led to junior employees embarking on a strike that left the municipality ungovernable in September and October last year.

"The manager for corporate services, Aaron Mahlangu, has been appointed interim municipal manager while William Mahlangu is being investigated by the council's investigating committee,” said municipal spokesperson Themba Mtsweni.

Not fit to lead

Kubheka added: “His suspension proves that he is not fit to lead the council and he will remain on suspension until our investigations are completed. We are confident that we will come up with fruitful results."

Mahlangu could not be reached for comment.

The chief whip of the DA in the municipality, Diamond Ntuli, said the party welcomed Mahlangu's suspension.

“His suspension was expected to have been done in November last year after the corruption was discovered. We appeal to the council to investigate other senior personnel involved in corrupt activities and to ensure that the amount of R2.6m is fully recovered,” said Ntuli.