DA demands consequence management as Hawks investigate corruption in Ba-Phalaborwa Municipality

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The Democratic Alliance (DA) is demanding consequence management against officials allegedly involved in mismanagement and corruption related to the awarding of tenders in the Ba-Phalaborwa Municipality in Limpopo.

The Hawks raided municipal offices in Phalaborwa and seized documents as part of an investigation into tenders worth R30 million.

The municipality says it is waiting for investigations to be concluded. The Ba-Phalaborwa Local Municipality has been in the news recently for all the wrong reasons.

Residents have been complaining about a lack of water and road infrastructure. There have been sewage spillages in some parts of Phalaborwa for some time. Allegations of corruption related to tenders have also been levelled against officials in the municipality.

The Hawks are investigating allegations that contracts amounting to R30 million have been irregularly issued.

“The DA welcomes the raid by the Hawks onto the Baphalaborwa Municipality after the AG revealed that over the past two years period,  financial mismanagement and maladministration to the tune of R450 million, also the inability by the local municipality to investigate R99.6 million of unauthorised expenditure, it is clear that in this municipality there is no consequence management against those officials who made themselves guilty of this financial mismanagement and corruption,” says DA provincial leader Jacques Smalle.

Limpopo Hawks spokesperson, Matimba Maluleke, has confirmed that investigations into allegations of fraud, corruption, and maladministration are underway.

“As part of ongoing investigations into the allegations of fraud and corruption on the awarding of tenders by the Phabalaborwa Municipality we have conducted a search and seizure operation at the municipal offices, the municipality is under investigation for awarding tenders worth over R30 million without following due processes. During the operation we seized documents and laptops,  no arrest has been made at the moment and investigations are still ongoing.”

Municipal spokesperson Jonas Mahesu says they are worried about allegations of corruption.

“Allegations will remain allegations up until is proven guilty.  We are worried because we are the third sphere of government, we need to abide by the MFA (Municipal Finance Management Act), that we do things accordingly. The Hawks raided our offices, they are in possession of information. There are a number of potholes that we are currently working on. The local mines assist a lot; they assist us in tiring some of the roads around our area, assisting also by patching some potholes.”

A council sitting was held at the municipality earlier today to officially brief councillors about the latest developments on the raid by the Hawks.