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MOKOPANE - A Mogalakwena Local Municipality official was arrested in Mzombana on Thursday by members of Mahwelereng South African Police Services following a tip off from concerned resident.
The police followed the culprit until he was caught in the act putting diesel in a private truck at his house in Mzombana. According to the information received, the suspect who appeared in Mokerong Magistrate Court on Friday morning was found in possession of 1000 litres diesel bowser (fuel tanker) belonging to the municipality. He was then released on a R500 bail.
The suspect is drives from Nkidikitlana satellite office when required to load 1000 litres from the municipal depot for use by municipal vehicles at the satellite office.
The municipality has since opened a case of misuse of petrol cards amounting to R2.9 million after the internal investigation revealed that municipal officials are using petrol cards on private cars and also selling petrol to the members of the community.
"It is mind boggling that the culprit can steal petrol while the municipality has opened a case of similar incident," says divisional head of communications, Malesela Selokela. "The diesel in his possession amounts to R15 000. The officials involved in this fuel transactions scandal sold a litre at discounted rate of R10 or R8 a litre."
The case of misuse of petrol cards was opened after the finance departments noticed an inconsistency in fuel consumption and drawing fuel several times a day. Upon comparing statements and records of fuel consumption, finance management and supply chain section at the depot realised there were thieves in their midst.
“More disciplinary hearings are imminent because of the evidence the municipality is in possession against those implicated in the fuel transaction scandal. The investigations are ongoing and management has vowed to intensify its clampdown on corrupt employees in a quest to weed out criminality within our midst,” said Mayor Andrina Matsemela.