The Democratic Alliance (DA) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) caucuses in the Free State’s Fezile Dabi District Municipality have teamed up in an effort to bring controversial municipal manager Lindi Molibeli to account for funds they allege she allocated without council approval.
EFF provincial secretary Bosanku Msimanga is leading the charge in accusing Molibeli of a number of misdeeds, chief among which is the nearly R2 million in unauthorised spending on the Come Duze 2019 festival in Abrahamsrust on New Year’s Eve – an event he claims never took place.
According to Msimanga, it was billed as an HIV/Aids awareness event, meant to benefit those in need in the area, but this was found not to be the case.
Msimanga said the EFF caucus in Fezile Dabi District Municipality (Northern Free State) wrote to Molibeli requesting proof of tickets sales for the event, for which funds were made available without council approval. Their e-mails were ignored.
“When asked during a council sitting on February 28, 2019, she insisted what was held there in Abrahamsrust was the Fezile Dabi Jazz Festival, instead of what was highly publicised as Come Duze 2019 crossover festival.
“We suspect that money meant to serve vulnerable people is looted,” said Msimanga in a statement.
DA councillor Freddie Scholtz and two others who wished to not be identified backed up Msimanga’s claims, adding they were part of the caucus working to bring Molebeli to account.
A SABC 1 New Year’s Eve event, with tickets costing from R100 to R2 500, was set to take place at Abrahamsrust Resort in Sasolburg. The municipality was featured on the flyer as a co-host.
“We are calling on the municipal manager to pay back the money taken from municipal coffers without permission of the council,” demanded Msimanga.
The caucuses have threatened legal action against the organisers if the funds are not paid back.
This is not the first time Molibeli has made headlines. In late 2018, she was at the centre of a failed ANC plot to oust the municipality’s mayor Oumix Oliphant and replace her with Molibeli.
When questioned regarding the event and the allegations made against her, Molibeli asked for a deadline by which to respond, but then stopped answering calls or e-mails.
Kaunda Selisho / The Citizen