By Jacques Smalle MPL, DA Spokesperson on Cooperative Governance:
The DA has learnt that Thulamela Municipality is on the verge of paying a golden handshake to its suspended Municipal Manager, as he is regarded a stumbling block to the awarding of tenders to certain crony companies.
The DA has noted that the ANC in Limpopo is on the verge of sacking several other Municipal Managers and government officials too, in municipalities, for refusing to award tenders worth millions of rands to various companies that belong to some ANC’s bigwigs in the province.
It is alleged that the Provincial Secretary of the ANC , Knocks Seabi is behind this campaign of targeting these officials who refuse to award tenders to the companies that belong to his ANC cronies and political pals.
The DA has learned that suspended Municipal Manager of Thulamela, Adv. Makonde Mathivha, was summoned by Seabi to his office in January after advertising tenders worth R1 billion on behalf of the municipality. These tenders were for the construction of roads and bridges around Thohoyandou and he was given a list of companies to which he had to award the tender.
After a failure to comply, Mathivha was suspended in April claiming to have brought the municipality into disrepute. The decision has already been taken on the 14 July 2015 during a council meeting that a whopping R600,000.00 from the taxpayer’s coffers will be paid to the legal team of Mr Mathivha after reaching an agreement to settle for a golden handshake in return for the termination for his contract with immediate effect.
Another Municipal Manager in Maruleng Municipality is also being targeted for exposing corruption by cooperating with the office of the Public Protector and the Hawks after the DA filed a complaint with Public Protector’s office in 2014.
The DA believes that paying golden handshakes to those who are exposing corruption, is an indication that the ANC led government is failing to fight corruption but instead opting to promote it even further within government and municipalities. When ANC cronies do not get rich from government contracts, ethical government officials seem to take the fall.
Intimidating and victimizing all whistle-blowers by expelling and suspending them is a clear violation of the The Protected Disclosures Act, 26 of 2000, that stipulates that all whistleblowers are protected from occupational detriment.
The DA’s vision for all South Africa is that government must always act honestly, transparently and in the best interest of all South Africans. When corruption is uncovered, a whistleblower should be a hero, not a villain.
The DA will be writing to the MEC for Cooperative Governance, Makoma Makhurupetje to launch a forensic audit into the finances to Thulamela and Maruleng Municipalities to probe all the tender irregularities and mismanagement of public funds.