Local News/10 November 2023, 09:07am / Mpho Mokoena
Fezile Dabi District Municipality Logo: Image supplied
By Mpho Mokoena: In yet another case of alleged corruption, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), has opened a criminal case against a senior accounting officer in the Fezile Dabi District Municipality of Free State Province.
The party alleges that the officer attempted to silence its regional leader by offering him a double salary, a move that they have termed as a fight against clean governance.
The allegations come in the wake of other claims that senior municipal officials have been overpaying themselves. “Unfortunately for them, in this instance, they met their match – an incorruptible public servant,” said EFF regional chairperson, April Motaung.
The municipal office is facing accusations of fraud and corruption involving high-ranking officials. An anonymous whistle-blower informed the Municipality’s Public Accounts Committee (MPAC) of alleged misconduct involving over R200,000. Motaung, who leads the committee, confirmed that they received the tip-off and have since launched an inquiry into the matter.
As per regulations, the municipality must respond to the inquiry within seven days. The EFF has requested a detailed breakdown of the payments to acting directors and senior managers, while questioning the policy or council resolution that justified these payments. Motaung posed the question, “Did the application consistently apply to all current and former acting directors?”
The term “whistleblowing” is commonly used to refer to the act of reporting illegal or unethical activities to a trusted person or organization. In this case, the whistle-blower tipped off the MPAC about the alleged fraud and corruption within the municipality.
Motaung stressed the importance of transparency and accountability in this matter. “MPAC must therefore inform the council on these developments and conduct the necessary oversight,” he said.
As of now, the municipality has not issued a comment on the ongoing investigation. This case underscores the ongoing struggles with corruption within municipal governance and the need for increased oversight and transparency.