Nando’s scandal: Mahikeng Mayor must bring us the evidence

Chris Hattingh

DA Leader in North West

It is almost comical to watch Mahikeng Municipality’s Acting Executive Mayor, Cllr Pontsho Tabane, attempts to spin himself out of the Nando’s scandal.

Initially, during the SCOPA public hearing on Tuesday, Mr Tabane had no explanation for the R132 585 of public money spent on buying food from Nandos over 35 days between March 15 and April 18 this year.

The Mayor has now attempted to justify it by saying that Nando’s meals were bought for 2,700 children who volunteered to clean up the city. If this is true, we are perplexed as to why the municipality is using children to do the work that public officials are paid to do.

We challenge Mr Tabane to come up with auditable evidence of what really happened. The absence of audit documentation is one of the main reasons why the Mahikeng municipality received its 4th consecutive Disclaimer from the Auditor General.

Mr Tabane has now accused me of stealing municipal documents containing evidence of the money spent at Nando’s. He has also threatened to lay a charge against me for “spying”.

This is absurd because the irregular Nandos expenditure is contained in a public document that was tabled at a Mahikeng Council meeting. It was at that meeting that the Council was requested to condone this expenditure with long lists of other irregular, unauthorized, fruitless and wasteful expenditure.

Mr Tabane has admitted that Mahikeng municipality was unable to provide a paper trail for auditing purposes, that the municipal bank account was hacked, that an undisclosed amount of money was stolen and that the council is investigating about R38million of wasteful expenditure.

The sad state of the municipality can only be corrected by an independent skills audit and a turn-around plan.

We will continue to push for this so that we can ensure service delivery to all the people of Mahikeng.