A young mother with a BCom degree in marketing received a suspended jail sentence for defrauding state-owned company Petro SA.

Johannesburg - A probe into payroll officials in the Mhlontlo municipality has unearthed financial mismanagement amounting to millions, according to a report on Tuesday.

The investigation was conducted after municipal manager Yolisa Ndima asked the Department of Local Government and Traditional affairs to probe salary discrepancies in the municipality, the Dispatch Online reported.

It revealed, among other things, how some officials were paid car allowances they did not qualify for, while another employee received a car allowance even though she did not have a driver’s licence.

The municipal manager at the time, Monde Sondaba, did not approve the allowances. Balisa Socikwa, the then-director of corporate services (now municipal manager at Amahlathi municipality), did, the Dispatch Online reported.

A report following the investigation recommended any unjustified enrichment through irregular salary negotiations be recovered from the employees.

It also recommended Socikwa be charged for misrepresenting the municipality, and that the payroll officer should be charged with misconduct as he failed to query the discrepancies in salaries.

The Dispatch Online reported that Sondaba and acting mayor Mbulelo Jara were unavailable for comment. - Sapa