MINISTER of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, at a media briefing earlier this month. Sibonelo Ngcobo African News Agency (ANA)
MINISTER of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, at a media briefing earlier this month. Sibonelo Ngcobo African News Agency (ANA)

Most officials dodge VBS fallout

By Mayibongwe Maqhina Time of article published Oct 28, 2019

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Johannesburg - Only two officials have been dismissed and 10 suspended for opening accounts with the Venda Building Society (VBS) Mutual Bank against National Treasury instructions.

Furthermore, 10 others implicated in making illegal investments with the controversial bank have since resigned from their employment in the affected municipalities.

This is according to Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.

Dlamini Zuma revealed this in a written response to DA MP Cilliers Brink, who had asked about suspensions and resignations of municipal officials implicated in the opening of bank accounts for municipalities with VBS bank.

In her written response, Dlamini Zuma said the acting municipal manager at Merafong Municipality was recently seconded to Merafong municipality from the West Rand District Municipality by the Gauteng MEC for Cogta.

“Based on the legal advice obtained by the municipality, there were no grounds for suspension of two other officials also still employed at the municipality,” she said.

Dlamini Zuma also said three officials suspended last year by the Madibeng Municipality had been reinstated in their positions in April this year, but the manager for assets resigned and was subsequently taken on as the chief financial officer at the Dr Kenneth Kaunda District Municipality.

According to Dlamini Zuma, the municipal manager for Moretele Municipality was placed on suspension in December last year, but it was unclear if the suspension had been lifted.

In the Mahikeng Municipality, the municipal manager was dismissed and the acting chief financial officer (CFO) and the head of budget resigned, in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

It has also emerged that the CFO of the Greater Giyani Municipality, who was the acting municipal manager, had also been dismissed following the scandal.

The municipal manager of the Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District Municipality has, meanwhile, been placed on suspension with full pay while disciplinary proceedings continue.

Dlamini Zuma said the municipal manager and CFO of the Vhembe District Municipality reached a settlement agreement with the municipality and had since resigned.

The minister also stated that the municipal managers for Elias Motsoaledi Municipality, Tubatse Municipality, Collins Chabane Municipality and Ephraim Mogale Municipality were still on suspension, while the CFOs had resigned.

In the Makhado Municipality, the director of community services had been suspended, she said, and in the ­Lepelle-Nkumpi Municipality the CFO and municipal manager had resigned.

Dlamini-Zuma also said that 11 municipalities had failed to submit the appointment reports for the hiring of senior managers.

Municipalities are required by regulation, which was introduced in July last year, to submit appointment reports for ratification to the provincial Cogta MECs and the minister.

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