Report has it that the South African municipal workers union (Samwu) in Limpopo has opened a case of corruption at the Thohoyandou Police Station demanding an explanation and investigation into the R3.8 million payment made by the Vhembe District Municipality to a private security firm that was hired after Samwu opposed the appointment of Ndanduleni Makhari as Vhembe’s municipal manager.
BuzzSouthAfrica gathered that the workers union equally approached the labor court to contend the appointment of Makhari who was fired as the chief financial officer for “misconduct and gross incompetence” in her previous work place.
City Press related that after Samwu opposed Makhari’s appointment late last year and went on strike in December, the municipality hired a private security firm and paid R3.8 million in just one month.
Justifying the pay, municipal spokesperson Matodzi Ralushai narrated that the municipality received a “security risk assessment report that indicated threats to municipality assets and infrastructure during the period of the workers’ strike. Payment made is for service rendered during the time,” Ralushai stated.
While the period in question is between December 8 and January 11, a bank account confirmation document revealed that the private security firm’s bank account which received the R3.8 million payment was recently opened on 22nd January.
Samwu provincial chairperson, Timson Tshililo lamented that it is disappointing to encounter such waste after the council’s resolution to cut cost when it spent R14 million on private security in 2014.
“Something is definitely wrong here; we have tried but we are not getting any explanation. Our municipality is on the brink of collapse because procedures and policies are being disregarded,” Tshililo commented and wailed – “why this municipality, which is failing to pay its employees and unable to provide services to our people…such a luxury deal for only one month costing such a hefty amount of money.”
Commenting on the controversies surrounding her appointment as Vhembe’s municipal manager, Makhari stated; “I didn’t appoint myself so I can’t comment on issues of my appointment. It should be the mayor or some other officials who should answer to that.”
The municipal spokesperson has nevertheless, disclosed that the council is set to “conduct an internal investigation on the payment administrative process and the amount to ensure that issues raised are addressed.”
According to Ralushai, the issue is being discussed by provincial government and Makhari will continue to perform municipality duties pending the outcome of the discourse.
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