Merafong officials suspended for involvement with illegal VBS investment

Issued by Ina Cilliers MPL – DA Constituency Head: Merafong
08 Aug 2019 in Press Statements

The Democratic Alliance has learnt that the Merafong Local Municipality Chief Financial Officer, Martha Chauke and the Manager: Budget and Treasury, Thys Wienekus will be investigated to determine if prima facie evidence exists to proceed with formal disciplinary charges regarding their involvement with the VBS scandal.

Whilst the DA welcomes the progress made, we are concerned that officials who were possibly coerced by senior ANC politicians are being hung out to dry.

Twice the DA has filed PAIA applications to the West Rand District municipality to obtain a copy of the forensic report into the illegal investments made with VBS Bank.

Twice we have been denied this request which indicates that there is something that the ANC would rather not be known by the public.

During an in-committee council sitting, Merafong Mayor Maphefo Letsie, tabled an item with the intention to suspend the municipal manager, who has subsequently taken leave.

Merafong has had at least seven acting or permanent municipal managers since 2011 which has exasperated the dire financial status of the municipality.

The Council was also asked to condone an amount of R13 million from the capital budget that was not spent and will be returned to National Treasury.

This is the same municipality that has, under the ANC, produced unfunded mandates due to people’s money being wasted by the ANC.

The DA will continue to pursue the VBS forensic report to ensure that those implicated are held to account, particularly implicated ANC politicians, and that public money is recovered and used to improve services.