Local News/4 April 2023,12:34pm/ Staff Writer
From left: Former Dihlabeng local municipality director Nkosi Mondi, accused ghost employee Rerang Nchabane and former corporate services director Seipati Mavis Mabula in court over ghost employee saga:images supplied
By Staff Writer: Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation says the council lost R290,000 paying the salary of a contractor who never came to work for almost two years.
The Hawks are investigating more cases of ghost employees in Dihlabeng municipality, Free State, after it lost R290,000 paying a contract worker that never came to work for two years while colluding with two senior officials.
After a year of investigations, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, arrested former municipality economic development director Nkosi Mondi, 54, former corporate services director Seipati Mabula, 50, and Rerang Nchabane, 34, who is accused of receiving a salary without working for the municipality.
According to Hawks spokesperson Capt Christopher Singo, investigations into the case started last year after an audit report flagged concerns about the attendance of a contract worker.
“It is alleged that the former director of local economic development, who was the supervisor of the ghost employee, allegedly instructed his subordinate to create an attendance register for the ghost employee as if he was reporting on duty.
“It is further alleged that the director of corporate services, who was acting municipal manager, was present when her colleague instructed his subordinate to create the attendance register” he said.
Singo said Mabula had signed the ghost employee’s contract, adding the police were probing more cases in the municipality.
The accused, charged with fraud and theft, were granted R5,000 bail each by the Bethlehem magistrate’s court last week. They are expected to return to court on April 17.
Municipality spokesperson Tshediso Maitse said Mabula and Mondi were no longer working for the municipality after their contracts lapsed last year.
Maitse said an internal probe by the provincial government had found irregularities in the appointment of the contractor and police were alerted.
DA councillors in the municipality celebrated the arrests.
Hilton Maasdorp said he hoped the continued investigations would give communities answers on what irregular activities have occurred within the administration of the municipality.
Maasdorp said the party was not surprised by the arrests, adding they received reports from whistle-blowers about “shady activities” in the municipality.
“The DA had warned various portfolio committees and the council, written to the provincial legislature and frequently expressed concern after receiving information from whistle-blowers about such activities,” Maasdorp said.