THE Economic Freedom Fighters in the North West have said mayor Khumalo Molefe of Ngaka Molema District Municipality, who is facing various allegations of corruption, has failed the people whom he swore to serve and protect.
Molefe is accused of contravening Section 117 of the Municipal Finance Management Act, which prohibits political interference in government procurement processes.
It is alleged that on numerous occasions he used his mayoral office to solicit bribes from service providers, and he bought his wife a BMW and several cars, including a Toyota Hilux. Sources claimed this was after service providers were called to a secret meeting with Molefe and requested to donate money.
The provincial deputy secretary of the EFF in the North West, Justice Dabampe, said that there were many complaints against the mayor’s conduct.
“As the EFF, we sponsored recommendations that the council sitting scheduled before the end of this month, should establish an ad-hoc committee to investigate the allegations of corruption against the mayor. However, we are aware that this route has proven to take long, therefore, as the EFF we have resolved to put a motion of no confidence against the mayor because there are many wrong things he has done,” said Dabampe.
He added that a report of misconduct against Molefe was tabled in council after the provincial leadership of SANCO closed the municipal offices as a protest against the mayor.
Molefe, who is also the provincial chair of the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) has not responded to all the allegations of corruption against him.
Approached for comment, SALGA President Bheki Bheki Stofile responded through his spokesperson Sivuyile Mbambato who said: “It will be fair that we allow the council and the relevant parties space to deal with the matter and get to the bottom of it.”
The provincial Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, which is led by Molefe’s ally MEC Nono Moloi, committed to investigating Molefe.
Following the reports of corruption against Molefe, the South African National Civics Organisation (SANCO) leadership in the province called for Molefe’s removal.
In November last year, Sanco chairperson Tshepo Khoza said Molefe was “advancing his own agenda” and not willing to help the community following several delivery protests in the area. Khoza appealed to the premier, Bushy Maape, to urgently step up to his role and investigate the allegations.
“He must be seen to have performed a preliminary investigation. The matter can then be referred to the competent law enforcement authorities. It is not for the MEC to decide whether there is a case against the person facing the accusation,” said Khoza.
In November 2023, the Independent Media revealed that Molefe sent an email on June 22, 2023, to a service provider requesting R20 000 to fund a private company’s logistical expenses unrelated to the municipality.
In the email addressed to the service provider, Molefe wrote: “The above-mentioned NPO has produced a musical production titled ‘Nkgo ya Mosadi and Ke rona’ which will be premiered at the National Arts Festival from 22–29 June 2023. It is against this backdrop that I request your company to contribute at least R20 000 towards transport and accommodation to enable the NPO to attend the festival.”
Molefe also advised the service provider to make the payment into an FNB Gold account owned by the NPO. He further said that the service provider contacts the directors of the NPO for further information regarding the logistical arrangements.
This demonstrated how Molefe contravened Section 117 of the Municipal Finance Management Act, which prohibits political interference in government procurement processes.
Act no. 56 of 2003 of the the Local Government Municipal Finance Management stipulates that no political structure or office-bearer of a municipality may set up a relief, charitable, trust, or other fund.
“A municipality may in terms of section 7 open a separate bank account in the name of the municipality for the purpose of a relief, charitable, trust or other fund. Money received by the municipality for the purpose of relief, charitable, trust of other funds must be paid into a bank account of the municipality,” reads the act.
Furthermore, the Act states that: “The money may only be withdrawn from the account by or on the written authority of the accounting officer acting in accordance with decisions of the municipal council, and for the purpose for which, and subject to any conditions on which the fund was established or the money in the fund was donated for.”