The mayor of Matjhabeng municipality in the Free State, Thanduxolo Khalipha, has vehemently denied allegations of misconduct and corruption levelled against him.
Khalipha has been accused of using municipal services for his personal benefit.
It is alleged that the mayor used the services of a municipal service provider for the construction of his magnificent R3.4-million mansion.
It is also alleged that the daughter of the service provider is employed in Khalipha’s office.
The controversy came to light when these reports surfaced on Monday, raising questions about the use of public resources for private purposes.
In response to the allegations, the mayor’s spokesperson Tshediso Tlali rejected the claims as “false and baseless”.
“These allegations lack a credible foundation and are without merit,” Tladi said.
“Their apparent intention is to tarnish the reputation of the executive mayor, who is deeply committed to combating corruption within our institution and safeguarding the interests of the residents of Matjhabeng.
“The underlying goal seems to be to divert attention from the substantial efforts put forth by the mayor and his team in advancing good governance.”
On Tuesday, ActionSA in the Free State announced that it has requested the Office of the Public Protector to investigate the mayor’s lifestyle.
The party is demanding an investigation into the purported misuse of the municipality’s service provider for personal vanity projects. They also want the alleged appointment of the service provider’s daughter to be investigated.
Claims of a lavish lifestyle
“Matjhabeng residents deserve to know the source of their mayor’s opulent lifestyle. It is sad to note that the mayor can afford to live this lavish lifestyle while this cash-strapped municipality fails to pay service providers to the extent that its fleet has been attached. It also fails to pay its employees and their benefits. Service provision has come to a complete halt,” ActionSA provincial chairperson Patricia Kopane said.
Kopane underscored the need for a lifestyle audit for all senior state officials and officials involved in public procurement decision-making processes.
“There should be an increase in transparency of all procurement contracts by publishing the details of awarded tenders online. This should include line-item descriptors and prices,” she said.
Kopane accused the mayor of incompetence, saying that Khalipha should voluntarily surrender his mayoral chain should the investigation find him guilty of any misconduct.
“He has done nothing to advance the lives of Matjhabeng residents, and he has been a liability.”
Visit SW YouTube Channel for our video content