The official responsible for the use of municipal funds to paint a privately owned tavern in Peddie to celebrate Mandela Day must be criminally charged and made to repay the cost of this expenditure.

I have written to the MEC for Local Government, Mlibo Qoboshiyane, and asked him to explain why this happened and what action he intends taking against the individuals concerned.

In terms of section 173 (3) of the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA) an official is guilty of an offence if he, while exercising financial management responsibilities and to whom a delegated power has been given, contravenes deliberately or negligently any condition of the delegation.

As reported in the media it is alleged that Mr. Phumelele Gaba, Amathole District Municipality LED director, was the mastermind behind this exercise and ignored pleas from the Amathole municipal manager not to go ahead with painting this tavern.

The ethos of Mandela Day is to be of service to one’s fellow man and to take action to make the world a better place.

The message of Mandela Day and indeed every day should be that each of us able to do so should be nurturing and empowering our fellow citizens from poverty to prosperity.

The painting of a privately owned tavern from municipal funds as part of a Mandela Day action is fruitless and wasteful expenditure and fails to uplift the Peddie community in any way.

Such action is inappropriate and insensitive to the aim of community service and is an insult to the high values and integrity of our father Tata Nelson Mandela.

If the MEC fails to take appropriate action in this matter then this lack of action will be seen to be a condoning of this inappropriate incident by himself and his department.


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