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Eastern Cape municipal manager nabbed for allegedly flouting MFMA

By Ntokozo Maphisa Time of article published Nov 5, 2021

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JOHANNESBURG: An Eastern Cape municipal manager, who is accused of flouting the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA) after he oversaw a R18m tender balloon to over R36m under his watch, has appeared in court and was granted R20 000 bail, after he was arrested by the Hawks this week.

King Sabatha Dalindyebo Local Municipality municipal manager Ngamela Phakade, 50, appeared at the Mthatha Serious Commercial Crime's Court on Friday.

He is expected to appear in court again on November 18.

It is alleged that Phakade, who was the municipal manager at the Mnquma Municipality at the time of the alleged crime, is accused of allegedly allowing for the process of allocating a tender to go through, without doing due diligence being complied with, in accordance with the MFMA.

Hawks Eastern Cape spokesperson Brigadier Nomthandazo Mbambo said the Mnquma Municipality had planned, funded and managed roads through a tender. The tender costs rose from R18m to R36m under Phakade’s watch.

“The Infrastructure Directorate initiated the tender process for the construction or revitalizing of Butterworth township roads, which was awarded to Siva Pillay Joint Venture.

“In executing the aforementioned tender, the municipality had to confine themselves within the legislative framework of 2001 Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act of 2000, Regulation 11.

“Despite being given legal advice by the Municipal Legal Official not to continue with a vague specification, he allowed it to happen under his watch,” said Mbambo.

Mbambo said Phakade was being charged for allegedly deliberately failing to take reasonable steps to follow the municipality’s supply chain management processes.

“As the Accounting Officer, he deliberately and grossly failed to take reasonable steps to implement the municipality's SCM policy and further failed to take all reasonable steps to prevent unauthorised and wasteful expenditure, in terms of section 173(1) of the MFMA.

“The municipality budgeted for R18 million but, under the watch of the said accounting officer, expenditure drastically went up to the amount of R36m – with the actual loss of R18m,” said Mbambo.

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