By Busisani Ncube
Rand West municipal manager – Themba Goba – who has been accused of gross mismanagement of municipal funds, now faces charges of corruption and maladministration.
The Hawks have confirmed that they have been investigating a case involving the manipulation of the tender development funds between 2016 and 2019.
They say the docket has been handed over to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for allocation.
The municipality lost about R1.5 billion through fruitless and wasteful expenditure amongst others.
The Hawks spokesperson in Gauteng Ndivhuwo Mulamo explains that the investigation in the case involving Goba has been concluded.
“Serious commercial crime investigation received a docket in March this year  for investigation. There are allegations that the municipality management manipulated the tender development funds between the years 2016 and 2019.
“We are done with preliminary investigation and therefore the docket was submitted to NPA for allocation,” she said.
Gauteng Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) MEC Lebogang Maile said they welcomed the investigation and would await the finalisation.
“We note the developments in the Rand West Municipality and we definitely welcome the investigation. We will await the outcome of the investigation,” Maile told a local radio station.
The South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) last week wrote to the Mayor of Rand West asking that he files a report to ask the speaker to convene a council sitting to have the Municipal Manager suspended. The union welcomed the swift yet delayed action by the law enforcement agencies and called upon urgent arrest, charge and bringing to book all those involved.
“We also believe that more people, both from the Management and politicians are involved in this despicable act, we call upon the Municipal Council to urgently convene in light of these serious
allegations and eminent charges and place Mr Goba on suspension,” SAMWU said in a statement.
The union further said urgent suspensions would help avoid any possible destruction of remaining evidence and victimisation of possible internal officials that may want to be witnesses to these hideous crimes and inhumane acts.
“We will be engaging internally with political leadership on our long standing of taking action on those that have been tasked with the tender systems, funds and the BEC and our long convictions that there is serious thuggery happening in Rand West,” it said.
The African National Congress (ANC) regional secretary Sanele Ngweventsha said they had requested for a report from the Mayor regarding the matter.
“We’re waiting got the report from the Mayor, they must indicate what action they are taking. We are taking these allegations very seriously,” said Ngweventsha.
Goba refused to talk when contacted for comment.
By Busisani Ncube