Makhurupetje cracks whip in dodgy land deal
MEC Makoma Makhurupetje takes action against four officials who signed off on the Tubatse land deal
● MEC Makoma Makhurupetje takes action against four officials who signed off on Tubatse land deal
● Rodgers Monama, Gregory Makoko, Noko Setati and Minah Matemotsa asked to give reasons why they should not be suspended
● Monama defends the transaction and dismisses the intention to suspend him as a ‘political ploy’
● Sources say the company that benefitted from the deal is linked to a senior provincial ANC leader
FOUR senior officials who signed off on the R116 million dodgy land deal have been given five working days to explain why they should not be suspended. The Limpopo Department of Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (Coghsta) started sending the letters to the four on September 29 -- a day after African Times exposed the deal in which the department paid a private developer R116 million for a piece of land in Tubatse valued at R8.1 million.
The department’s Deputy Director General for Corporate Services Mokgase Gregory Makoko, Chief Director Rogers Monama, Chief Director for Financial Management Noko Setati and Director Legal Minah Matemotsa were slapped with the letters on September 28 and October 3 respectively, according to documents seen by African Times, for their roles in the deal which saw the department paying R108 million more for land in October 2015.
Senior officials in the department and the provincial ANC said the intention to ice the four bureaucrats was part of COGHSTA MEC Makoma Makhurupetje’s crack down on alleged tender fraud and irregularities in the department following the embarrassing land scandal.
African Times reported three weeks ago that Coghsta had paid Blue Horizon Investments an inflated price for land on farm Mooifontein in Sekhukhune, before trying to falsify documents submitted to the Auditor General.
Blue Horizon, then a shelf company, had bought the land from Proline Trading 60 Pty (Ltd) a day earlier for R18 million before selling it for a whopping R116 million.
It also emerged this week that Blue Horizon was linked to a senior provincial ANC leader whose name is known to African Times.
Monama was acting as Deputy Director General for Human Settlements, Makoko as Acting Head of Department and Setati as Acting Chief Financial Officer when the deal was concluded.
“It is herein alleged that under your leadership you have failed to properly advice the Department and to ensure that due diligence is exercised and to make sure that the Department gets value for money in the acquisition of the land in question. As a result of your inactions the Department has for the financial year in question, had to disclose an amount of R108 000 000 as fruitless and wasteful expenditure,” said Coghsta HOD Ngaka Mosehane in a letter addressed to Monana, dated September 28, 2017.
“In line with audi alteram partem rule, you have five working days from the date of receipt of this letter, to make written submissions and provide reasons why action should not be taken against you.”
Similar letters were sent to Makoko, Setati and Matemotsa. Mosehane blamed the four for Coghsta’s qualified audit opinion for the 2016/2017 financial year.
African Times previously reported that the inflated payment was detected by the AG while auditing the department’s books.
The AG had found that the department paid inflated fees for portion 10 of farm Mooifontein 313KT – Tubatse Township extension 54, 58, 71 and 72 in Burgersfort.
“On evaluation of the supporting documents the suspicions arose that the department paid more for the land than what it was worth. The audit team did not have the knowledge to conduct a valuation of the property and engaged the services of an independent valuator to value the property,”read part of the audit finding.
“On 12 November 2016 the independent valuator submitted his valuation report and valued the property at R8.140 000 00.”
Monama this week confirmed submitting written reasons why he should not be suspended, but denied any wrong-doing.
Monama said the Tubatse land transaction was processed by the Housing Development Agency (HDA), and “I am not the HDA”. He added that he could not have advised the department because “I am not the legal advisor”.
“That is why, to me, is more of an orchestrated political ploy to tarnish my good name. That’s why I view it because the processes are above board and beyond reproach. And to me there is nothing untoward,” Monama said.
He said he could not be blamed for the dodgy deal because he had acted for only six months, and was “not the ultimate authority”at the time.
Setati, Matemotsa and Makoko could not be reached for comment.
MEC Makoma Makhurupetje LEFT: Rogers Monama
ACTION: MEC Makoma Makhurupetje. BELOW: Coghsta headquarters in Limpopo.