National News/10 November 2023, 08:37am/ Mandla Nkosi
Embattled Matjhabeng Mayor Thanduxolo Khalipa: image supplied
By Mandla Nkosi:The Democratic Alliance (DA) has urged the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) to explore the allegations of misconduct by Matjhabeng Mayor, Thanduxolo Khalipha, as reported by various news outlets.
The Mayor is accused of refusing to pay three service providers a cumulative amount of R88 million, while allegedly demanding a R4 million kickback from each. It is claimed that Mayor Khalipha ordered the CFO, Thabo Panyani, to withhold payment until the firms fulfilled his kickback demand. Additional suspicions have been raised about a R3.4 million mansion the Mayor allegedly received from a service provider as a bribe.
During a recent NCOP presentation, Mayor Khalipha shared that the municipality has spent R2.8 billion on service providers over the past five years, averaging R45 million per month. The DA finds these figures hard to reconcile with the deteriorating municipal infrastructure and the severe sewage crisis plaguing the municipality, arguably the worst in the country.
The DA is also seeking the Hawks’ investigation into court documents related to the appointments, claims, and payments to service providers.
The Hawks have been asked to scrutinize:
1. The source of funding for the Mayor’s residence.
2. Allegations of the Mayor soliciting funds from service providers.
3. Claims that service providers have received or are demanding payments for services that have not been completely or partially delivered.
4. Political office bearers and officials who failed to report known corrupt activities, as mandated by law.
Dr Roy Jankielsohn, the DA Free State member of the legislature, emphasized the party’s commitment to holding political office bearers, particularly Mayors, accountable for their continuous disregard for the rule of law.