Govan Mbeki Municipality suspends chief financial officer

HIGHVELD – Mr Bongumusa Sithole, chief financial officer (CFO) of Govan Mbeki Municipality, has been suspended for alleged fraudulent payments recently.

It is alleged that Mr Sithole paid companies without following the proper procedure.

The amount involved is estimated to be R3,5 million.

Mr Nhlakanipho Zuma, Speaker, could only confirm that Mr Sithole was suspended, but could not say why because the matter was being investigated.

“Mr Jakes Mahlangu will be the acting CFO until the matter is finalised,” he said.

Acting municipal manager, Mr Thisha Mhlanga, did not want to comment on the matter and told the newspaper to contact Ms Flora Maboa-Boltman, the previous executive mayor, who also did not want to comment and said it is an administrative issue.

A reliable source told the newspaper that some of the companies implicated were involved in a big soccer tournament that took place in eMbalenhle in December.

The source alleged that senior politicians are also implicated.

Opposition parties welcomed the suspension and praised Mr Mhlanga for bringing the issue before Council.

Mr Sibusiso Hlolweni, president of the Sakhisizwe Progressive Movement, said a person is not guilty until proven and expressed his gratitude that alleged criminal actions are being investigated.

“Mr Mhlanga has shown courage and love for the people of this municipality by exposing this alleged corruption.

“We know that many are unhappy with his action and we hope that he will be protected and will continue to do his job with courage and without favour.

“We are not saying Mr Sithole is guilty, but we are happy that he was suspended pending the investigation.

“This will teach others that for every wrong action there are consequences.”

The Economic Freedom Fighters said they were not shocked when they heard about the suspension, because they were not happy with the appointment of Mr Sithole from the beginning.

He was appointed by the municipality as the new CFO in August.

Mr Thabiso Mofokeng, EFF councillor, said his party questioned the ANC over Mr Sithole’s appointment and his profile.

“We noted that he had worked for several municipalities in a short space of time, which hinted that he is not consistent.

“We also questioned his appointment because we learned that he has a criminal record, but the ANC was too arrogant to listen to us.

“The ANC should stop shielding each other and begin to do the right thing.

“We congratulate Mr Mhlanga for this and we feel for him because we know he does not get political support from the ANC and other officials.

“We will wait for the matter to be finalised and are pleased that something is being done about corruption in this municipality.”

Sifiso Mathebula

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