The embattled Mogalakwena Municipality in Mokopane, Limpopo has paid R7 million to get back its assets that were about to be auctioned.
The payment was made just before the auction of municipal assets that were attached by the Sheriff of the court last week following a court order.
The Polokwane high court granted the order to a service provider who was appointed for various projects, including grass-cutting at the tune of R12 million.
These assets belonging to the Mogalakwena Municipality were kept at these premises for over seven days. They were scheduled to be auctioned off. The municipality failed to interdict the auction.
On Friday morning, a R7 million payment led to the cancellation of the auction. A payment which mayor Ngoako Taueatsoala says was not duly authorised.
“Council did not sit and decide whether the person must be paid or the settlement should be done but as a municipality. We are in the process of doing our own internal investigation and after getting the recommendations from the process obviously, we must apply consequence management to each and every one who is implicated in the process.”
At least one civil society organisation in the area believes there are more service providers who are still owed money.
SANCO Waterberg coordinator, Charles Makhuvele says, “It’s regrettable that assets that were bought with ratepayers’ money had to be auctioned just to pay service providers who actually rendered services around Mogalakwena. And we are told that it’s not only one service provider who is owed by this municipality who have rendered the service who are actually locally based business, who have been denied the right to get payment for their services.”
The service provider, Mamoloko contractors was appointed for various projects four years ago.
The company’s owner is among 15 accused individuals and 13 companies arrested for alleged involvement in irregular tender irregularities at the Mogalakwena municipality two years ago.
The case is due back at the Polokwane High Court in November.