- The Sekhukhune District Municipality has spent millions in its bid to recover funds paid over to the 'wrong' accounts
- A forensic investigation and legal fees has seen R3 million spent to try and recover R5.4 million
The Sekhukhune District Municipality has thrown R3 million at legal fees and an investigation into R5.4 million that was illegally paid into the 'wrong' bank accounts.
In 2018, the municipality hd hired a law firm in an attempt to recover the funds meant to pay service providers, but instead funnelled off to unauthorised accounts.
A report on the progress of the matter has stated that the municipality spent R2.8 million on legal costs and a further R648 225 on the investigation:
"The contributing factor on the costs of the legal team is due to the appointment of the counsel to apply for the recovery of the money through court process. Their investigations entailed a number of meetings with different stakeholders, including the banks, investigating officer and municipal employees as well as conducting some lifestyle audits to strengthen the case."
Five employees have seen recommendations for charges of gross misconduct, insubordination and negligence, reports The Sowetan.
Despite this, a manager who had been taken on for neglecting her duties has pleaded guilty, receiving only a final written warning.
The manager went on to resume her duties, turning into a key witness in the debacle.
The municipality reported that it was aware of the costs of the process, but is adamant that it wants to make an example of the offenders:
"This problem may have been happening in the municipality without anyone picking it up or investigations conducted. But this investigation has assisted the municipality to identify the source and therefore address it appropriately. This will be a lesson to any other officials who may have been intending to join corrupt practices."
Enjoyed reading our story? Download BRIEFLY's news app on Google Play now and stay up-to-date with major South African news!