North West mayor, officials in court for fraud
Johannesburg - The Ngaka Modiri Molema district municipality mayor, speaker, and two other officials appeared in the Mahikeng Magistrate's Court in the North West over a R300 000 fraud accusation, the Hawks said.
Spokesperson Captain Paul Ramaloko said mayor Phaladi Audrey Saku, 49, speaker Vincent Smanga Dila, 39, ward councillor Keboneng Peddy Mokotong, 55, and a manager in Saku's office Kgotlaetsile Piet Ramoabi, 46, appeared in court on Wednesday.
They were arrested for fraud after they handed themselves over to the Hawks on Wednesday.
"They were notified about their arrest after the Mahikeng Magistrate’s Court had issued warrants for their arrest after a lengthy investigation involving R300 000 fraud," he said.
"The suspects were accused of receiving double salaries after they had been appointed in their current positions."
They were granted bail of R5 000 each.
Saku was appointed executive mayor of the municipality in June 2011, and continued to receive a salary of R117 232 from June to December 2011 from her previous employer, the education department.
Ramaloko said Dila received R78 489 in salaries from June to December 2011 from the agriculture department where he was employed before being appointed speaker.
Mokotong worked as a teacher and received R71 707 from June to August 2011, after she was also appointed as a full-time councillor at the same municipality in June 2011, he said.
Ramoabi received R40 038 from the education department.
The case was postponed to 21 November.
On Wednesday, the municipality was placed under administration, the provincial local government department said.
"The provincial executive committee has resolved to place Ngaka Modiri Molema district municipality under administration with immediate effect," spokesperson Ben Bole said in a statement.
An administrator would be appointed to take over the municipality's executive functions for 12 months. The municipality's seat is Mahikeng.
Bole said the municipality had experienced governance and administrative problems since 2011. These include failure to address audit disclaimers for the years 2011 to 2013, the non-payment of debt, and service delivery issues.