Mayor’s car bought through third party
THE MAYORAL vehicle that was used by former Sol Plaatje executive mayor Mangaliso Matika – an Audi Q7 with a price tag of R1.1 million - was purchased through a third party without any written instruction.
The Section 106 investigation report has recommended that criminal charges be laid against the suspended chief financial officer (CFO), Lydia Mahloko, after she verbally instructed the accountant creditors to pay LSOGA Projects (Pty) Ltd for the vehicle.
The accountant creditors had handwritten on the face of the invoice that Mahloko had telephonically requested her on February 26 to “immediately effect payment, without any written instructions”.
The investigation task team pointed out that the fact that the request was never submitted in writing amounted to a “clear violation of supply chain management processes” and went against “best practices”.
“The refusal of the CFO to provide a written instruction is puzzling. Is it because she did not want to leave a paper trail of her instruction. If yes, why not?”
The task team also found difficulty in understanding why an amount of R5.6 million was paid for a fleet of vehicles, including the Audi Q7, through LSOGA Projects, in favour of the “normal acceptable motor vehicle dealership”.
The report indicated that fruitless and or wasteful expenditure could have been avoided if the former mayoral vehicle – a Mercedes-Benz E500 – was properly maintained and repaired.
“The Mercedes-Benz was allowed to accumulate more than 150 000 kilometres, which ultimately led to its constant breaking down and unnecessary cost to the municipality.
“The unnecessary, unexplainable delay in replacing the Mercedes-Benz led to fruitless and wasteful expenditure as no reasonable care was taken to adhere to the South African Local Government Association (Salga) mayoral handbook.”
The task team found the report drafted by the CFO for the finance committee on April 18 to be “shocking, not helpful” and “an excellent example of the CFO passing the buck”.
“Any CFO worth his or her salt is responsible for the approval and or recommendation of costs within the entity she serves. Therefore for a CFO to proclaim otherwise is indeed unacceptable. The so-called justification that there was a budget is legally untenable and cannot be considered at all.”
It believed that the CFO was “not up to date with the finances of the municipality” and advised that disciplinary measures should be instituted against the municipal manager for fruitless and wasteful expenditure.