The council of the Ephraim Mogale Local Municipality in Marble Hall in Limpopo has resolved to serve the Municipal Manager and Chief Financial Officer with precautionary suspension for approving the illegal investment of public money with the VBS Mutual Bank.

This brings the number of municipalities in the province which have instituted action against their managers in relation to the VBS saga to four. The Ephraim Mogale Municipal Council held a special sitting on Friday to discuss its R82 million deposit.

The Council of the Ephraim Mogale Local Municipality has followed the examples set by the Vhembe District Municipality, the Giyani Local Municipality and the Collins Chabane Local Municipality of instituting action against managers involved in the VBS saga.

Ephraim  Mogale Municipality’s CFO, Kgabo Ramosibi, and Municipal Manager, Monica Mathibela, have been given seven days to respond to letters on why they should not be suspended.  “The resolution says intention to suspend and they will give letter to that senior manager a letter she or he will respond on this matter because you are aware that the municipal manager is not hired by the administration, it is the council. They will write a letter to the municipal manager as an intention to suspend,” says municipal spokesperson is Jan Phasha

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and African National Congress Councillors refused to comment on the VBS investment saga.

DA Councillor Flip Jacobs says they are concerned that some culprits are not dealt with. “According to the resolution of the council the mayor should send a letter to them and they have seven days to respond why they should not be suspended, well at this stage they are trying to suspend some of the culprits but we are not entirely happy about how the process went.”

Some municipal workers at municipalities involved in the VBS saga have been protesting, demanding the resignation of the Municipal Managers and Chief Financial Officers since last week. The municipalities affected by workers’ protest include the Vhembe District Municipality and Ephraim Mogale Local Municipality.

South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) Provincial Secretary, Patrick Aphane, says they will develop programmes in all municipalities that have made illegal investments with VBS. “We are going to develop a program and we will meet Cosatu , and in our own provincial structures we will visit those municipalities so that they can do the same things that have been done by all this municipalities that have suspended their Chief financial Officers and municipal managers.”

The Elias Motsoaledi Local Municipality and the Makhado Local Municipality will hold their special council sittings next Tuesday to discuss their VBS investments. Elias Motsoaledi has a deposit of R20 million while Makhado has more than R60 million deposited with VBS. Click below for more on the story: