NGO Right to Justice has called on the mayor of Matjhabeng, Thanduxolo Khalipha, to come clean on the “real funder of his house” following allegations that Khalipha’s mansion was built by a service provider of the municipality.
The NGO said that in a bid to cease widespread corruption in the Free State, Khalipa had one week to come clean on his links to the service provider or amicably resign or face public prosecution.
Right to Justice is currently in a private prosecution of a politician in Mpumalanga.
Right to Justice’s Lonwabo Mtyando said the allegations could no longer be ignored.
“If a municipality is littered with accusations that the mayor’s R3.4-million mansion was built by a service provider and the service provider’s daughter works for the office of the mayor, then in the spirit of clean governance, the mayor must be investigated and if found wanting, he must face the long arm of the law. That is how we will rid this country of corruption,” Mtyando said.
Allegations are viral that as a form of kickback the service provider built and furnished the mayor’s Welkom house.
Asked to respond to the allegations and the NGO’s call for Khalipha to come clean, the mayor’s spokesperson, Tshediso Tlali, said he was struggling to find the mayor because it was a Sunday.
“Please give us time until tomorrow so I can at least meet the mayor. I don’t want to answer on the house because I don’t know which one you mean. I know the mayor to live in a normal house which anyone can afford. I don’t mean the mansion at home. I mean the one here.
“I am the mayor’s spokesperson but the principal spokesperson is the MM (municipal manager), some questions I will have to pass through him first. I also don’t want to answer questions to media whereas the questions will later be used as part of a bigger story that we don’t know about,” Tlali said.
Mtyando said the mayor should use the next few days to reflect and speak truthfully.
“As the cloud of scandal hangs over mayor Khalipha, in law he is innocent until proven otherwise. In the public domain, his image is linked to that of government. It is also imperative that the relevant authorities take swift and decisive action to uncover the truth. The credibility of Matjhabeng Local Municipality hangs in the balance, and the residents rightfully demand transparency, integrity, and ethical leadership,” Mtyando said.