THE SA Communist Party (SACP) in the North West has issued a red flag against Mercy Phetla, the chief financial officer of the Matlosana District municipality, and called for her removal.
Phetla is facing charges of corruption for allegedly receiving a kickback gift of a car worth R1.4 million in exchange for a service delivery tender from GMHM Construction and Projects, a company doing business with the municipality.
Phetla and two employees of GMHM, Matshepiso Mothelesane (39) and Nomthandazo Mokasule (49) were arrested on January 17 before being released the following day on R35 000 bail each.
Fezile Canga, the SACP spokesperson in the district, said in a statement: “As the SACP, we are of the view that corruption should be rooted out and defeated in all forms, as it sets us back from the gains of democracy. The working class and the poor are at the end-point of this corruption.
“The party noted that the accused had handed themselves in after an investigation into the alleged purchase of a VW Amarok by GMHM for the CFO, who had failed “to declare it before the employer as it supposed to be according to Schedule 2: Code of Conduct for Municipal Staff Members in section 5 (1) of Municipal Systems Act (Act 117 of 1998).
“Notwithstanding the allegations spread by the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA), it is important to state that the Party will not support anyone involved in the acts of corruption no matter the position they occupy, and we remain steadfast on our stance against corruption as we are solid in our fight against it.”
The SACP further said: “The act of corruption is a disturbing factor, especially committed by those whom we are supposed to put our trust upon. The above-mentioned allegations have an impact on the social well-being of our community at large. Therefore, the Party is of the view that this issue of corruption should not be left unattended.”
The party further called on the Municipal Council to suspend the CFO to ensure that the investigation runs smoothly without intimidation.: “We further reiterate our support to all stakeholders that have called for the suspension, and that the CFO be given space to deal with all charges facing her.”
“All individuals involved in corrupt activities should be investigated and their cases be finalised. This municipality is experiencing several corrupt activities and no action or report is shared with the communities. Whoever is found to be involved in corrupt activities, irrespective of his/her position, should face all might of the law and suffer the consequences”.
Cange also urged anyone with information of corrupt activities to come forward.
“We call upon the employees and community members who are aware of acts of corruption to report to the law enforcement agencies and allow them to do what they can in rooting out corruption. We believe that the report will be concluded to prove the statement of the CFO being ‘more powerful than Mbalula',” Cange said.
In an exclusive article published on January 23 by the Sunday Independent, it was revealed that Phetla’s bail was paid by Masego Mokasule, the son of her co-accused, Nomthandazo Mokasule.
Phetla denied this, saying, “I cannot disclose to you who paid for my bail because that would be an invasion of my privacy. You can go on writing whatever you like but I will never disclose the name of my friend,” she said.
The trio is expected to appear in court on March 1, 2024.