Fourteen municipalities in Limpopo, North West and Gauteng irregularly invested more than a billion rand meant for service delivery in the defunct VBS mutual bank. Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane says all municipal officials who were involved in investing money into VBS need to be held accountable.
Mkhwebane addressed Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha and MECs in Lebowakgomo outside Polokwane, about the province’s non-implementation of findings in the report compiled by her office, during her ongoing public protector stakeholder roadshow.
The objective of the roadshow is to assess and monitor implementation of the remedial actions recommended by the Public Protector’s office in various cases. Mkhwebane says the Limpopo government must implement the VBS report and its remedial actions.
Mkhwebane says, “The VBS report has not been implemented by the province and the remedial action which was there is that the municipal managers were supposed to make sure that all the relevant officials who were involved in investing the monies into VBS bank are held to account. The MEC is supposed to follow up and receive the quarterly report on how the money which was utilised will be recovered.”
Limpopo PP’s office dealing with numerous complaints
She says the Public Protector’s office in Limpopo is dealing with more than 100 complaints, mainly related to maladministration. She says there are 88 complaints of maladministration and three related to corruption which are yet to be resolved.
“We have a total number of 107 complaints or matters which are still active fourteen of those relate to service delivery complaints, three of those relate to corruption, 88 of those relate to maladministration. It involves abuse of power, abuse of state resources and behaviour of a public servant,” says Mkhwebane.
However, Mathabatha says the provincial government has been implementing the remedial actions from the VBS report.
Mathabatha says, “We also want to implement the remedial action but it is just impossible to do so because of the availability of the resources. I want to commit this government, we will always cooperate with your office, the VBS issues we have tried, we have done everything. What is left is in the hands of law enforcement authorities both from the government and the ruling party. We have done everything.”
MEC for Co-operative Governance Basiko Makamu has appealed to Mkhwebane to consult all stakeholders when preparing reports.
Makamu says, “I think you want to be popular by issuing a lot of reports but the reports will also be fine when they have resolved the issues because that is the main thing that we should be able to care but I think there are a number of things that we are engaging premier, your VBS report we are working on as the department.”
Limpopo is the seventh province to be visited by Mkhwebane as part of the ongoing roadshow.
PP @AdvBMkhwebane has concluded her meeting with Speaker Hon. Rosemary Molapo and Premier Stan Mathabatha in Lebowakgomo, Limpopo as part of her Stakeholder Roadshow. She’s now engaging Traditional Leaders. She will shortly go inspect unoccupied RDP houses in Ext 76, Polokwane. pic.twitter.com/4rMKZo3ALj
— Public Protector SA (@PublicProtector) March 9, 2022
— Public Protector SA (@PublicProtector) March 6, 2022