Makhu­ru­petje cracks whip in dodgy land deal

MEC Makoma Makhu­ru­petje takes ac­tion against four of­fi­cials who signed off on the Tu­batse land deal

African Times - - Front Page - PIET RAMPEDI

● 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.

Pic­ture: Le­bo­gang Mak­wela/ Vis­ual Buzz SA

MEC Makoma Makhu­ru­petje LEFT: Rogers Monama

Pic­ture: Le­bo­gang Mak­wela/ Vis­ual Buzz SA

AC­TION: MEC Makoma Makhu­ru­petje. BE­LOW: Coghsta head­quar­ters in Lim­popo.

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