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North West Local Government suspended.

The suspended Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipal Manager Mokgele Mojaki is to appear before a disciplinary committee on 20 November 2014 where he will face eight separate charges of misconduct.

Mojaki was suspended over two weeks ago by the Administrator who has been appointed by the Provincial Government to oversee the affairs of the Municipality. The suspension followed his refusal or failure to provide reasons why he should not be placed on precautionary suspension as stipulated in the letter of intention to have him suspended.

On Monday Mojaki’s application to have his suspension set aside was dismissed by the Labour Court in Braamfontein - Johannesburg. The effect of the Court judgement is that Mojaki will remain on precautionary suspension until the investigations into allegations of misconduct and the disciplinary inquiry have been finalised.

Possible charges against Mojaki include, amongst others, irregular expenditure after he allegedly made or authorised payment of R500 000.00 to a firm of Attorneys, for services that were not yet rendered; unauthorised expenditure after he allegedly effected or authorised payment of R10 000.00 to one of the former municipal councillors, when the council was already dissolved.

It is also suggested that Mojaki also irregularly appointed a service provider without going on public advertisement for a tender worth over R200 000.00, an act that contravenes the municipality’s internal policy. 

Mokgele Mojaki will also face another two charges for his alleged failure to disclose conflict of interest. He allegedly appointed a service provider, who is a relative, to provide water to Ngaka Modiri Molema communities through tankering. Other charges which have been issued include the alleged gross insubordination and the alleged irregular appointment of a senior (section 56/7) manager in the municipality.

Under the tenure of Mokgele Mojaki, the district municipality received successive disclaimer audit opinions with extensive qualifications under the Compliance and Predetermined Objectives components of the municipal audit. In addition the Auditor General has also extensively recorded repeat findings that will confirm that there were no remedial measures that were implemented.

The audit reports show that the aggregate unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure for 2011/12 and 2012/13 financial years amounted to approximately R1, 350 billion. 

The Auditor-General has also recorded the key repeat finding as “material misstatements” in annual financial statements for the past three municipal audits. The AG has also suspended the 2013/14 audit of the municipality on Tuesday 7 October 2014 due to the absence of the Acting- Chief Financial Officer and finance staff to provide documentation.

The intervention task team was deployed to the district municipality weeks ago after the North West EXCO disbanded the council and placed Ngaka Modiri Molema district municipality under administration on 3 September 2014.

Amongst others, the council also failed to act on alleged maladministration, fraud and corruption; to provide support to the local municipalities in terms of section 88 of the Municipal Structures Act and failure by district to provide communities with basic services in particular water.

Spotlight was unsuccessful to get comments from North West Departmental Spokesperson Ben Bole, as he didn’t answer phones calls.

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