Suspended Rustenburg municipal manager loses court bid

2015-12-25 08:17
(File: DA)

(File: DA)

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Rustenburg - Suspended Rustenburg municipal manager, Bheki Khenisa has lost an urgent high court application to set aside his suspension, the municipality said.

"The case was struck off the roll with cost by the Mafikeng High Court today [Thursday]," mayor Mpho Khunou said in a statement.

Khenisa was suspended on December 21 at a special council meeting which opposition parties had boycotted.

His charges relate to the unspent conditional grants from the National Treasury.

DA caucus leader Gert du Plessis said the DA could not attend the meeting because they did not get the agenda in time before the meeting, and other councilors did not receive any agenda at all.

"Again the Speaker in the last meeting indicated that there will be no other meeting this year. DA councillors were already on holiday when we informed of the meeting. One councillor left on the day of the meeting as he had already planned his holiday knowing there will be no meeting this year," he said

In the previous special council meeting held on December 11, opposition parties staged a walkout in protest at the motion to suspend Khenisa. They were joined by some ANC councillors, who also walked out of the session.

This resulted in the meeting not being able to proceed as it did not have the required number of councillors. Another special council meeting was then convened on December 21.

The municipality did not spend conditional grants amounting to R426.9 million. It applied to Treasury to roll-over the unspent grants but the application was rejected.

Water grant unused

The National Treasury said in a letter that the roll-over application was rejected because the municipality was requesting the roll-over for the public transport infrastructure grant and municipal infrastructure grant for the third consecutive year respectively.

For the integrated national electrification programme and expanded public works programme, the rollover request were more than the 2014/15 allocations.

Supporting documents were also not submitted for the water service operating subsidy grant.

In a report tabled at a special council meeting on December 11, Khunou lamented that the municipality did not use R12 million water infrastructure grant from Treasury.

"The report before today's [December 11] special council in terms of expenditure levels for conditional grants for 2015/16 indicates that there has no expenditure at all in terms of the water infrastructure grant for which an amount of R12 million has been appropriated in the current budget," Khunou said.

He said the pro rata expenditure should have been at least 25%.

"The latest report on financial indicators indicate that our water losses are in the excess of 50%. The serious challenges of unattended water leaks, the water infrastructure was meant to assist us in dealing with the above stated challenges and therefore it cannot be acceptable that there has been no expenditure on this grant."

The report was to inform the council about allegations of misconduct leveled against Khenisa.

Opposition parties were of the view that the mayor, chief financial officer, directors and unit manager should carry the blame for not spending the conditional grants.

Read more on:    da  |  johannesburg ­  |  local government

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