By Mpho Dube
GLOVES are off- former chief financial officer (CFO) in Mpumalanga has been lambasted for subjecting herself to a kangaroo court following her dismissal over misconduct at the local municipality last week.
Mercy Phetla, the former CFO of Dr Pixley Ka Isaka Seme Local Municipality who was fired last Tuesday was lambasted for failing to report the alleged corruption of an alleged bogus tender in time which allegedly cost the municipality about about R14 million.
Phetla was dismissed for allegedly “having an interest in a certain company, wrongfully recommending to the municipal manager to appoint someone in an acting position; and giving the municipality a wrongful court order to be reinstated during her suspension”.
She confirmed it was her who told the media that allegations levelled against weren’t profound but a smokescreen to divert the real issues. And she vowed to the media that she will will appeal her dismissal without trepidation. Her conduct was however seen as subjecting herself to a media kangaroo court following her dismissal which might affect her appealing process.When pressed for commend Phetla dismissed allegations levelled against her however she couldn’t provide the case number when asked to do so in order to confirm her claims. “(Thisare) bogus allegations (levelled) against me in order to cover up their fraud and corruption. I’ll stand and say it again. EFF mentioned that they have opened a case…”
She also could not explain why did she took so long to report the matter to the relevant authorities. Before you lay a charge , you need to be (sure) of certain facts and have evidence…,” she uttered.
The CFO is the senior executive responsible for managing the financial actions of the municipality. The CFO’s duties include tracking institution’s or companies cash flow and financial planning as well as analysing the financial strengths and weaknesses and proposing corrective actions for the institution or companies Executive Mayor Vincent Malatsi has questioned the timing of the Phetla who spoke to the media following her dismissal claiming that she lost her job because she failed to pay more millions to the alleged bogus contract. Malatji said: “She should have reported the matter immediately. There was nothing preventing her from preventing and combating corrupt activities. She must account and do the right thing.”
According to Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Act 56 of 2003 intends to secure sound and sustainable management of the financial affairs of municipalities and other institutions in the local sphere of government; establish treasury norms and standards for the local sphere of government; and to provide for matters connected therewith.
And a policy for unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure must be compiled and adopted by municipalities to ensure compliance with Section 32 of the MFMA, Act 56 of2003 and MFMA Circular 68 dealing with unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure issued by National Treasury on May 10, 2013.