15 August 2017 Read: 194
The GTM is in a financial crisis. Bulletin has received information which alleges that the municipality is literally hanging by a thread over the abyss of financial bankruptcy. Our confidential source is said to be in possession of a damning document to this effect.
This information came to light earlier this week while investigating the ongoing legal battle between the GTM and one of their security providers, MBS, over alleged non-payments for services rendered amounting to more than R4 million.
MBS provided security and access control services to the municipality on a three year contract basis. The municipality has allegedly not paid this service provider for more than four months, leaving 148 security personnel destitute. Those security guards downed tools in June.
In July, Tzaneen’s Sheriff of the court Tertius Robertson, executed a warrant (another in a string of attachments) at the municipal buildings and removed electronics including computer systems and televisions to cover the legal costs amounting to R196 000. The GTM’s spokesperson, Neville Ndlala, later told Bulletin that the municipality had made payment and their property was subsequently returned.
This was not true as Bulletin saw security footage which showed GTM representatives loading said property themselves from the storage yard. MBS owner, Peter Sedutla, also confirmed that he received no payments from the GTM despite promises made by Tzaneen Mayor, Maripe Mangena, personally, that the money would be paid at the end of May.
Bulletin asked the GTM why the Mayor’s promise to MBS was not fulfilled and which of their officials would be held accountable this time, for the fruitless and wasteful expenditure in this instance as it has placed the GTM into disrepute. Their actions in this matter furthers the municipality’s tainted track record of mismanagement, fruitless and wasteful expenditure and legal actions against them by service providers. We also wanted to know why no urgent forensic investigation has been launched despite it being advised by the KPMG report last year.
We spoke to Sedutla on Tuesday. According to him, he was forced from his home by his own angry employees and taken to the GTM buildings on Monday afternoon. According to him, this was because his employees did not believe the municipality still had not paid. “It took the acting municipal manager to address the group and admit to them that they had in fact not paid MBS, for my employees to calm down and go home,” said Sedutla.
Our source also alleged that the GTM’s director of community services, Obby Mkhombo,
instructed Sedutla to deploy armed security guards at the ANC’s (still incomplete) offices in Second Avenue. This has not yet been confirmed as Ndlala has not yet responded to our media inquiry. This is the same Mkhombo who was appointed as acting municipal manager in 2014, but then removed from that position after SAMWU obtained a labour court interdict against the appointment.
We will report on these burning questions in our next edition, once we have received (hopefully) any feedback from the spokesperson for the GTM (who seem to have once again started their unofficial boycott of this paper).
To read through our archives and trace the history of the extreme corruption at the GTM, visit www.bulletin.us.com and search the keyword “corruption”.