An executive mayor and a former acting municipal manager are among the arrests made for fraud in the North West.
The executive mayor of JB Marks Local Municipality in Klerksdorp, Kgotso Khumalo, and CJ Hendry, a director in the municipality, appeared in the Potchefstroom magistrate's court on Friday on charges of theft and fraud.
National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson in North West, Henry Mamothame, said in a statement a third accused is expected to hand himself over to the police on Monday.
Khumalo, Hendry and the third man are facing eight charges of theft and fraud involving municipal funds. It is alleged that the North West University and the Programme for Community Development paid about R5m into a trust account of an attorney for the use of specific projects by the municipality.
The attorney was then given instructions to effect various payments, which included a R208,000 mayoral committee contribution towards the funeral of the late MEC for agriculture, Duma Ndleleni, who died in 2018.
It was however discovered that R200,000 was allegedly paid directly into the account of one of the accused. From this amount, R64,218 was allegedly paid to an institution where Khumalo’s relative was a student, the statement said.
“It is alleged that false invoices were generated to effect more fictitious payments. Further to this act of criminality, Khumalo allegedly instructed the attorney to make payment to an NGO which did not exist.”
Khumalo and Hendry were released on warning and are prohibited from contacting state witnesses, and are further prohibited from entering the municipality offices until their next appearance in court.
Former acting municipal manager released on bail
Meanwhile, former acting municipal manager of Ratlou Local Municipality Cassius Sejake, 45, was released on R5,000 bail when he appeared in the Atamelang magistrate's court this week.
Sejake was arrested by the Hawks, for allegedly flouting tender processes to the value of R7.8m between 2018 and 2019 in his capacity as acting municipal manager.
This is deemed as a serious contravention of the Municipal Finance Management Act under section 173 (fruitless and wasteful expenditure), the NPA said.
One of the bail conditions was that he have no contact with witnesses at the municipality.
The case had been postponed to November 27 when he will appear in the Atamelang regional court.