Former Merafong mayor Maphefo Mogale-Letsie gets seat in Gauteng Legislature
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Pretoria - Embattled Former Merafong Local Municipality mayor Maphefo Mogale-Letsie has been allocated a seat in the ANC-led Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) despite her involvement in the collapsed VBS saga.
Mogale-Letsie, who resigned as mayor in the first week of September but was subsequently inaugurated as a member of the legislature under a different name – Sarah Madinge-Letsie, was fingered in Terry Motau’s “the great bank heist” report that blew the lid off the multimillion-rand scandal.
Merafong, which was found to have illegally invested R50 million and West Rand District municipality, R77m, are the only two Gauteng municipalities embroiled in the saga contravening the Municipal Finance Management Act, which states that municipal funds may not be invested in mutual banks.
Motau’s report also found ANC Limpopo treasurer Danny Msiza to be the “kingpin” who convinced municipalities to illegally invest in the bank.
The ANC, acting on Provincial Integrity Committee (PIC) recommendations, who had conducted a probe into the R50m municipal investment, removed Mogale-Letsie although the PIC, could not ascertain how she was involved.
The PIC, however, found that she should be held accountable for failing to take action against officials who were involved and signed off on monies.
The former mayor was sworn in as a new member of the GPL earlier this month, leaving opposition parties outraged.
The Freedom Front Plus (FF+) in the province said they saw the appointment as a reward for her role in the maladministration of the municipality.
Its leader, Anton Alberts, said: “The fact that she was inaugurated under a different name, Sara Madinge-Letsie, raises suspicions and the FF Plus will query it and demand an investigation if need be.
“In addition to the unlawful investment, the municipality’s financial position deteriorated significantly under her leadership between 2011 and 2021 The FF Plus + has reservations about the mystery surrounding her new appointment.”
He vowed that the party would lodge queries with the legislature regarding the “strange” circumstances of her appointment.
The DA, in a statement, said the former mayor was complicit in the illegal R50m investment with VBS.
“The swearing in of Mogale-Letsie as a member of the legislature for the ANC is just another case of cadre deployment despite her not looking after the best interests of the ratepayers. She was ousted by her own caucus in April,” the DA said.
Attempts to reach ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe or Mogale-Letsie were fruitless after calls over three days went unanswered.