Municipal manager, CFO jump ship at Mbombela

MBOMBELA – The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) at the City of Mbombela Local Municipality have called upon the provincial government to place the municipality under administration.

Mpumalanga News has learned that the municipality is allegedly in a financial crisis after it failed three times to pay workers’ salaries.

It is alleged that when these incidents occurred, workers were told it was a system error.

It is also alleged that the municipality is in this state due to alleged mismanagement of funds as it is alleged that more than of R1 million was lost due to wasteful expenditure.

Also read: Immediate action from municipality after protest

This newspaper also learned that last week Friday, some members of the council were shocked when the speaker of the municipality, Cllr Mandla Msibi, announced during a special council sitting at the chamber that he had received letters of resignation from the municipal manager, Mr Noko Seanego and the Chief Financial Officer, Mr Oupa Mokoena.

Former CFO, Mr Mr Oupa Mokoena

The chief whip of the EFF in the municipality, Cllr Lucky Shongwe, said government must act now and place the municipality under administration before it is too late.

“Something is fishy here. Why did the duo resign with immediate effect while a forensic investigation is under way concerning millions of rand that were misused?

They might know something and they don’t want to give account.

We suspect that they are running away. They were supposed to stay until the council received the forensic results, then they would go.

The municipality must be placed under administration before things get out of control and lose its value,” he said

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About 200 workers are still waiting for their placement letters, including people who have qualifications.

It is alleged that councillors and general workers are always prioritised when it comes to receiving salaries on time.

“Workers are not getting payment on time. Each time they make excuses and say it was a system error. So why are they not fixing it, because it happened more than twice?” asked Shongwe.

He said for everything to be in order, the executive mayor, Cllr Sibusiso Mathonsi, must be fired.

“Both Mathonsi and Seanego were accounting officers in the municipality, and both of them are responsible for signing documents before something is processed. Why is the mayor not fired or resigning so that the institution can be in a position to fulfil its mandate?”

It is alleged that service providers who were awarded tenders, were paid even when they did not complete the job.

The spokesperson of the municipality, Mr Joseph Ngala, refuted the allegations that the municipality is under financial crisis.

“It’s not true that we have a financial crisis. We don’t know where the reports come from. I’ve been receiving such allegations from various media houses. On the issue of salaries, it happened that we paid workers early, around the 19th, and others got theirs on payday, which is on the 22nd,” said Ngala.

He said the municipal manager and the CFO handed in their resignation because their term of office was ending very soon.

“What I know is that the municipal manager requested to be released earlier than the envisaged date, July 31.

Then the CFO also resigned because of his personal reasons. It’s not true that they are running away from accountability, as some councillors think,” he explained.

This newspaper also learned that deputy municipal manager, Mr Patrick Msibi, and deputy CFO, Ms Zanele Malaza, will be officially appointed to fill the positions by the MEC for cooperative governance and traditional affairs, Ms Refilwe Mtsweni.

Phumla Nkalanga

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