By Jacques Smalle MPL, DA Spokesperson on Cooperative Governance:
A forensic report in possession of the DA, into financial irregularities at the Vhembe District Municipality, implicates Mayor Tshitereke Matibe, allegedly in looting and fraud amounting to millions of rands.
The mayor and the acting Chief Financial Officer Lindelani Muthivhi are alleged to be co-conspirators in a plan to loot public money behind the Municipal Manager’s back.
The report shows that Tshitereke illegally obtained bridging finance on an agreement worth R6 million between the municipality and VBS Mutual Bank.
Meanwhile, the CFO has been authorizing and permitting payments to be made without valid contracts or service level agreements. At least 22 companies have illegally benefited from this these acts of fraud.
Further irregularities that were identified on the part of the CFO include:
- Late payment of salaries to officials,
- A pre-paid Water Meter Tender scandal,
- A short-term insurance tender scandal,
- Vehicle rental contract scandals, and
- Payment on numerous contracts without signed authority.
For five years Vhembe District has obtained disclaimer opinions from the auditor-general and continues to fail people on the ground who remain in poverty and remain unemployed, with non-existent services and no hope for a better future. The fraudulent misappropriation of money in Vhembe explains why people are forced to live lives of poverty on the ground.
It has become very clear that quality leadership has been overridden by political deployment and nepotism in our municipal system.
The DA will also look to lay criminal charges against the mayor and the acting CFO for their involvement in any violations of Municipal Finance Management Act.