MM on “special leave”
LEPHALALE — Bob Naidoo, municipal manager: Lephalale Municipality is still on special leave after it was decided during a council meeting last week that he should be moved “out of the system” for an indefinite period of time. This temporary suspension is as a result of irregularities regarding the upgrading of pump station 1 and 23, amongst other things. The charge against Naidoo has its roots in the fact that he approved a payment of an amount of R195 000. It was not part of the budget. The developers agreed to pay half of the total amount of R390 000.This money was appropriated for an additional depth of two meters required for a sewer pump and line connection to the new Lephalale Mall. According to Naidoo it was a reasonable request and if the municipality had not given the necessary approval for the
additional two meters, there would now be a real problem with the sewerage works at the Mall. The fact that the developers were prepared to pay half was, according to Naidoo, a bonus for the municipality. It was a win-win situation. It would have put both the owners of the building and the municipality in a bad light if the sewerage system did not work properly. During an interview with Mogol Post, Naidoo in no way tried to deny using money without approval and did not try and look for excuses. He explained his point of view and why he approved the additional expense. A forensic audit held last year recommended disciplinary action be taken against municipal workers involved. There were many repercussions as certain sources confirmed that Bob Naidoo’s presence at the municipality would have no impact on the
investigations therefore there was no logical reason for him to leave his office. According to an informed source, Mayor Jack Maeko was not in favour of allowing Mr. Naidoo to go on special leave as it would do more harm than good. Some unnamed sources confirmed that Maeko was under enormous pressure to suspend Naidoo. Naidoo offered to go on special leave until the investigation was completed. Another informed source alleges that the reasons given for the suspension is merely a guise and that there are much deeper political issues at play. According to sources it is impossible to put a time frame to the investigation.
Adv. MB Makgato is the acting MM until further notice.