Not only are payments to izinduna threatening to bankrupt the province, but salaries are being paid out to izinduna who are dead, missing or already full-time government employees.The payments have resulted in the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs getting a qualified audit opinion.Auditor-general Kimi Makwethu raised several red flags in the handling of funds that were cut from all government departments to foot the izinduna salary bill.Provincial government budgets were slashed to find R224 million per year, as the province did not have funds to pay izinduna when then president Jacob Zuma signed the salary proclamation in 2014.In his report tabled at the meeting of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts at the legislature on Friday, Makwethu found that the department had paid R368 709 in salaries to 29 dead izinduna.The department paid out over R6 million in salaries to 78 izinduna who are also full-time employees of government departments, the report found.Makwethu also found that the department had lost R2 million as a result of paying 37 izinduna more than the amount stipulated.During the auditing, seven izinduna whom the department had paid a combined salary of R4 million, could not be verified.“The accounting officer did not implement sufficient monitoring controls over the identification, recording and payment of izinduna, resulting in a qualification of the financial statements,” he said.In the report, Makwethu raised concerns about the uncertainty around the department’s financial sustainability.“The department has a liability to settle the backpay of allowances to izinduna amounting to R1,2 billion,” he said.Members of the committee raised concerns over how the department had been found wanting in the handling of izinduna salaries.“For once, I have been rendered speechless,” said committee chairperson Maggie Govender.“I did not realise the extent of the problems in the department. This sloppiness and mismanagement of izinduna payments should not be taken lightly,” she said.DA MPL Francois Rodgers said the matter had become a liability.ANC MPL Sipho Gcabashe said he could not understand why the department paid salaries to dead izinduna.“I am a born again Christian. All along, I was under impression that there was no after life until I heard that people were being paid after death,” he said.Laurens de Klerk of the IFP called for consequences on those found to have been responsible.“If this was a report at school, I presume you would have got an F. You would not have passed. All I want to know is who will take the responsibility? Who is going to be called to a disciplinary hearing?”Chief financial officer Busani Ndlovu said of the seven izinduna who could not be verified, they had frozen four salaries, while they had terminated salaries of two, and one induna had been verified by the district office.Ndlovu said they had frozen the salaries of 59 izinduna who are also government employees.“We have terminated salaries of 13 izinduna who have chosen to remain in government departments, while six have chosen to remain as izinduna,” he said.