The case against a former municipal manager of the Mahikeng Local Municipality in the North West, Thabo Isaac Mokoena, has been postponed to November 16.
Mokoena briefly appeared in the Molopo regional court on Wednesday morning.
He allegedly invested about R92 million of the municipality’s money with the now liquidated VBS Mutual bank.
Mokoena was granted bail of R50 000 and ordered to hand over his passport to the investigating officer.
Thabo Mokoena was the province’s first arrest in connection with the VBS Mutual Bank saga.
The former municipal manager of the Mahikeng Local Municipality was arrested by the Hawks in Klerksdorp on Tuesday.
In the video below, residents and hawkers call for removal of Mahikeng mayor:
He is linked to five investments made with the VBS Mutual Bank. The National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) national spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga says they have a strong case.
“The municipal manager belonging to Mahikeng Local Municipality has appeared in court today (Wednesday) facing charges of corruption and contravention of municipal finance management act.
It is alleged that he recieved some some gratification in order to facilitate an investment of over R90 million into the VBS. We believe that we have a strong case against him and we will present a formidable case that sustained the charges against him.”
Meanwhile, South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) in the province says this serves as a reminder to all those who looted state coffers that the law will catch them eventually.
Sanco’s Molefe Khumalo says: “The action taken on the looting of our municipal coffers is really encouraging and as Sanco we believe that the arrest at the Mahikeng local municipality is just but a tip of an iceberg. We encourage the suspect to come out clean. In fact, we encourage this suspect to collaborate and work together with the state.”
Human Settlements MEC, Mmoloki Cwaile, has welcomed the arrest.
“We hope this will send a strong message and we are confident that all who are implicated will be given an opportunity to explain themselves before the court of law.
Especially because many of our municipal councils are not able to hold accountable managers even those who are failing on their duties.”
The Mahikeng Local Municipality is one of 20 municipalities country-wide that invested money in VBS Mutual Bank. Only R7 million of the R92 million invested was paid back to the municipality.