Mangaung mum on recent scandals

The embattled Mangaung Metro Municipality (MMM) remains mum on the revelations that a so-called official at the Metro is reportedly continuing to sign documents despite not being formally employed by the municipality.

OFM News reports that the municipality, which includes Bloemfontein in the Free State, is yet to respond to numerous attempts to obtain answers to the startling allegations.

DA councillor, Mokgadi Kganakga, alleges the official was initially employed in the finance and business procurement unit of the controversial Integrated Public Transport Network (IPTN) Hauweng project on a contractual basis. She told OFM News the employer’s contract, however, lapsed in July 2020.

This is the latest scandal to hit the municipality following the revelations by the MEC for Cooperative Governance (Cogta), Thembeni Nxangisa, that there is a clash of individual egos within the ailing metro, involving the administrators and municipal officials.

Asked to respond to the latest allegations about an official who is working without an official contract, Nxangisa said he was not aware of the situation. Kganakga says the official duties of the “employee” includes the evaluation of the controversial IPTN contracts. If any of these contracts were to be signed and approved by the General Member without him having a valid employment contract with Mangaung, this could have dire legal consequences for the Metro.

“Any legal cost implications at the Metro means the taxpayer will have to foot the bill. [which is] money that could have been spent on service delivery instead,” said Kganakga.

The Metro is yet to elect a new mayor since the ousting of former Mayor Olly Mlamleli in August following a motion of no confidence by the Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus). In total, 31 councillors voted for Mlamleli’s removal while 28 opposed it, and 8 spoiled their votes.

The former mayor has since found herself in trouble following her arrest by the Hawks in September. She was nabbed for her alleged involvement in the controversial R255 million unlawful asbestos deal but was since released on R100 000 bail in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court. She and seven others will be back at court on 11 November.