Opposition parties in the Sekhukhune district municipality in Limpopo want the law enforcement agencies to conduct investigations on the executive mayor, Julia Mathebe, for her alleged involvement in the VBS saga.
During her tenure as the mayor of Elias Motsoaledi local municipality, it invested R190 million in the now defunct mutual bank.
The funds were, however, later withdrawn and the municipality lost R48 000 supposed interest.
Mathebe, however, says the provincial government has cleared her of any wrongdoing.
The DA, SAMEBA and SADA have continued to express concerns about public funds lost in the now defunct VBS Mutual Bank. The parties want the funds recouped to improve service delivery.
Recently, Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane directed the council speakers of all municipalities in Limpopo to take appropriate action against those implicated. The municipalities in the province have lost more than a billion rand.
The Sekhukhune District, the Fetakgomo-Tubatse, Elias Motsoaledi and Makhuduthamaga municipalities also invested public funds. Oblivious to the fact that the provincial government has exonerated Mathebe, the parties say they want her investigated.
The DA’s Thabo Makofane, Lethabile Kgwedi of SADA and Alpheus Makobe of SAMEBA says they want those responsible to be held accountable.
“As Democratic Alliance, if the matter on investing in the VBS was illegal, the matter must be investigated by police and law enforcement officials. As SADA, we are well aware the Public Protector has issued a report and municipality must account to it and its findings. The same executive mayor who was giving the speech today is one of those who were involved in investing money in the VBS.”
However, the newly-appointed Executive Mayor of the Sekhukhune District Municipality, says forensic investigations conducted by the provincial government have exonerated her from any wrong doing.
Mayor Julia Mathebe says, “We agree that there was noncompliance from our municipal officials to invest with the VBS and the investigations were made. The provincial government has commissioned a forensic investigations and there is no way where they are saying my hand is in a cookie jar. Issues were resolved and there was a consequences management and the R48 000 that was part on interest, that we could not get from the VBS, were recouped from the then municipal manager.”
The African National Congress in Sekhukhune says there is no need for Mathebe to step aside as she has not done anything wrong.
The regional Deputy Secretary, Given Moimana, says the Provincial Executive Committee recommended Mathebe for the position of executive mayor after its forensic investigations exonerated her.
“The issue of investing with VBS the leadership of the ANC at level of the province dealt with matter thoroughly and the those municipalities, whose monies were not recalled, the ANC took a decision to recall the mayors. With the issue of Elias Motsoaledi, where the municipality invested the money, all the money was recouped and that is why the mayor at that time was not recalled,” says Moimana.
Years after the initial report by Advocate Terry Motau and the Public Protector’s recommendations, authorities are yet to fully implement the recommendations.