The Emalahleni Local Municipality in Mpumalanga will ask Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane to investigate allegations of nepotism after it emerged that some traffic officer graduates were related to a former mayor, councillors and regional ANC leaders.
The municipality sent 20 trainees to the Mpumalanga Traffic College in Bushbuckridge last year and spent R2 million, of which R285 000 was paid out as monthly stipends of R1 500 per trainee.
When they graduated in February this year, the local branch of the SA National Civic Organisation (Sanco) realised that some of the graduates were related to the politicians. Sanco found that:
- Sithembiso Mbuli is the son of former executive mayor, Lindiwe Ntshalintshali. Ntshalintshali is the current ANC acting provincial secretary and culture, sport and recreation MEC;
- Sizwe Mabona is a son of Ntshalintshali’s brother;
- Dumisane Djiane is the son of Emalahleni public accounts committee chairperson, Jerry Djiane;
- Barbara Mohlala, Sanco alleged, is the girlfriend of technical services MMC and ANC Nkangala regional executive committee member, Mduduzi Mswati Nkosi;
- Lerato Ralele is the wife of waste and environment MMC, Thabang Mathebula. Mathebua is also the Nkangala ANC Youth League secretary;
- Sebula Mokgadi is the daughter of executive mayor Linah Malatjie’s aide, Feshy Mahlangu; and
- Lindokuhle Gift Tamale is the son of public safety MMC, Derrick Skhosana. Skhosana is responsible for the municipality’s traffic department.
Emalahleni spokesperson, Lebohang Mofokeng, said on Friday that the council deliberated the ethics committee’s report and took a decision that the matter should be referred to Mkhwebane for further investigation.
The ethics committee had recommended that the three councillors – Djiane, Skhosana and Mathebula – be charged and refund the council R100 000 each.
“The council said that it cannot charge only three councillors as more were involved and decided that the matter be referred to the Public Protector for further investigation,” Mofokeng said.
City Press has seen documents which show that some of the trainees did not qualify because of either having a criminal record and no matric certificate. There is also an affidavit detailing how councillors and senior officials interfered with the shortlisting process and brought their own 13 names to be considered.
The council had initially found in its investigation that it could not prove that any of the trainees linked to politicians benefited from “improper advantage”.
“A young person does not have any luxury to choose parents and their status and class in a society and that to who s/he related is inconsequential when it comes to access to empowerment and youth development programmes,” read the report.
The applications were done December 31 2018 and January 3 2019 when officials who should have been responsible for the process were on holiday. One official agreed to cut his holiday short and work after Nkosi called him back.