NEWS & ANALYSIS

JB Marks mayor fails to account for missing R1bn – DA NWest

Jacqueline Theologo says residents of municipality have the right to a transparent, accountable govt

ANC mayors fails to account for missing R1 billion

15 August 2018

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in North West is satisfied with the decision of the Provincial Public Accounts Committee (PPAC) to formally summon the JB Marks Mayor, Kgotso Khumalo, the Speaker, Elias Mogeemang, as well as Acting Municipal Manager, Cyril Henry, to appear before the Committee again.

It was however disappointing to find that the abovementioned individuals failed to appear before PPAC in Mahikeng on 14 August 2018, by extension failing to account for the R1 billion spent in fruitless, wasteful, irregular and unauthorised expenditure.

The DA believes that the mayor is in contempt of the Legislature House Rule 215(1) and (2) stating that “(1) A breach of privilege is contempt of the Legislature and (2) Contempt of the Legislature is conduct which potentially or actually interferes improperly with the ability of the Legislature, its Committees or any of its Members to perform their functions”.

We will therefore write to the Speaker in the North West Provincial Legislature, Sussana Dantjie, requesting that Khumalo be held accountable for disregarding the Legislature and its committees. The mayor should answer for the wasteful incurrence of cost to the Legislature.

The 2016/2017 MPAC report was not tabled before council and the 2015/2016 annual report was also not discussed, despite the DA’s numerous attempts to do so. The fact that an exorbitant amount of R1 billion has accumulated from the 2013/2014 financial years to date, is simply inconceivable.

This utter disregard is a clear indication that there is no accountability or political will to act in accordance with the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA).

It is unacceptable that Khumalo chose party politics pertaining to the by-election in Moses Kotane, rather than fulfilling his responsibility towards our communities.

Khumalo allegedly seconded Councillor Kelvin Johnson as Acting Mayor to attend the meeting on his behalf, but the latter appeared without any appointment letter with delegated powers. Such an endorsement would not have made a difference in any event, as the current mayor was not admitted to hospital or out of the country. This is certainly not the case – the mayor is merely busy serving the ANC while he should be taking responsibility for the mess in JB Marks.

Acting Mayor Kelvin Johnson informed the Committee that he was unable to engage in the meeting as he does not have the information needed, clearly demonstrating a play for time on the municipal management’s part, as the speaker does not want to table the MPAC report.

The ANC is withholding the mismanagement of funds under a tight lid, causing the people of JB Marks to bear the brunt of poor service delivery.

The people of JB Marks have the right to a transparent, accountable government who will put the people first. The people have had enough of corruption and incompetency. It is time for change that only a DA-led government can bring.

Issued by Jacqueline Theologo, DA North West Spokesperson on Local Government, 15 August 2018