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Maluti-a-Phofung unable to pay salaries from its revenue



NOT ADDING UP . . . Premier Sisi Ntombela says the revenue collected by Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality cannot keep it running

Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality can hardly raise a third of its salary bill from the monthly revenue collections because a growing number of residents can no longer afford to pay for services due to unemployment.

This was revealed by Premier Sisi Ntombela when she met with the local business community following increasing concerns over the worsening level of service delivery in the area.

The situation is so bad that some operators have indicated they might have to relocate to other towns or provinces due to the erratic availability of water and electricity as well as the deteriorating state of the roads, among other concerns.

“The salary bill of Maluti-a-Phofung that they are paying every month is R46-million,” said Ntombela during her engagement with the business community from the eastern Free State.

She said, further to that, the municipality also has to pay third parties about R21-million for staff pension, medical aid and other things.

“But the money that they are collecting in order to do everything is only R15-million,” the premier pointed out.

She was accompanied by several MECs their heads of department who committed to address the issues raised by the community.

Ntombela lamented the deteriorating situation in the municipality but was quick to point out that some residents and businesses absconding to pay when they had the means were not helping the situation.

“It’s very difficult to lead . . . especially after COVID-19. It’s very difficult to lead when the economy is like this,” she said.

“It’s very difficult to lead when people are starting to lose hope. It’s very difficult to lead when people . . . even those who can, are just prepared to get everything for free.”

Business and Community Development Association chairperson Nelson Moekoa said they anticipated change after the meeting.

“We are happy the premier came and we are happy with the commitments made by the team she brought,” he said.

“But this was just one step in the right direction. We are going to have continuous engagements.”

Some of the issues raised include growing unemployment, deepening poverty and inequality.

The scarcity of water and poor electricity provision topped the list of concerns as these shortages made “it difficult to grow the local economy and create sustainable employment”.

It’s believed over 11 000 jobs have been lost in the area due to poor water and electricity supplies since 2016 which saw the closure of many businesses. – Staff Reporter


Two Free State women allegedly killed by ‘druggie’ sons



SHOCKING MURDER . . . A 65-year-old woman was allegedly stabbed with a sharp object by her 28-year-old son after she failed to give him money to buy drugs

Two women from Mangaung have allegedly been attacked and killed in two separate incidents by their own sons believed to be using drugs.

In the latest incident which happened in Kagisanong along Masike Street at the weekend, a 65-year-old woman was allegedly stabbed with a sharp object by her 28-year-old son after she failed to give him money to buy drugs.

Police spokesperson for Mangaung Metro Lieutenant Colonel Thabo Covane said in the woman died on the scene from the stab wounds.

“The victim had visible multiple stab wounds on the head and body,” he said, adding the matter was reported by the brother to the deceased, who was also attacked by the suspect who is now in police custody.

Covane said the complainant informed the police that the suspect is believed to be using drugs and had asked his now deceased mother for money to buy drugs but she told him that she didn’t have money.

“The suspect got angry, went out of the house, came back with a piece of iron and stabbed the deceased with it several times,” he explained.

“When he was done, he turned to the complainant and also stabbed him on the chest.”

Covane said the uncle survived the attack but the daring suspect locked them inside the house and had to wait until Friday morning to get help.

The suspect was later traced and arrested by the police.
He is expected to appear in the Bloemfontein Magistrates Court this Monday facing charges of murder and attempted murder.

In a similar case, a 42-year-old man will be applying for bail at the Botshabelo Magistrates Court on the same day after allegedly strangling to death his 71-year-old mother last Sunday, August 7, 2022 in the E-Section, Botshabelo.

The suspect is also said to history of substance abuse.

Free State acting provincial police commissioner, Major General Modise, condemned the killing of the two elderly women. – Staff Reporter

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Magashule loses ConCourt bid to reverse ANC suspension



APPLICATION DISMISSED . . . The Constitutional Court says Ace Magashule has no prospects of successfully appealing his suspension as ANC secretary-general

Former Free State premier Ace Magashule has lost his latest court bid to have his suspension as ANC secretary-general lifted.

He had approached the Constitutional Court seeking to have his temporary ousting from Luthuli House reversed.

In a judgment handed down on Wednesday, the apex court said Magashule had no prospects of successfully appealing his suspension.

“The Constitutional Court has considered the application for condonation and the application for leave to appeal. It has concluded that, although there are no reasonable prospects of success on the merits of the application for leave to appeal, the delay in bringing the application for leave to appeal is minimal,” the court said.

Magashule first approached the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg to challenge his suspension, but the matter was dismissed with costs.

He subsequently approached the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA), which dismissed the application in January 2022, prompting him to take up his case with the Constitutional Court.

Magashule was suspended from the ANC in May 2021 because of the party’s step-aside rule.

The rule requires ANC members facing criminal charges to step aside while their court cases are under way.

Magashule is facing corruption charges linked to the Free State asbestos corruption scandal. – Staff Reporter

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Municipal manager facing tender fraud charges granted bail



THE ACCUSED . . . Maluti-a-Phofung municipal manager Futhuli Patrick Mothamaha is out on bail

Maluti-a-Phofung municipal manager Futhuli Patrick Mothamaha, 49, was on Friday released on a bail of R500 000 by the Phuthaditjhaba Magistrates Court after he was arrested by The Hawks for fraud, corruption and Contravention of the Municipal Finance Management Act.

The state alleges that he allegedly awarded a contract of R58 million to Kill Crime Security Company in 2020 without following proper procurement processes.

National Prosecuting Authority regional spokesperson Phaladi Shuping said Mothamaha allegedly signed a service level agreement on May 19, 2020, appointing the company to render security services to the municipality for a period of three months without following procurement processes.

“The municipality continued to pay Kill Crime Security Company for almost two years without a contract,” said Shuping.

He said Mothamaha was supposed to appear with his co-accused, father and daughter who are the owners of Kill Crime Security, Thabiso, 55, and Dimakatso Sekhosana, 29, on Monday after they were instructed by The Hawks to hand themselves over on Sunday, but he failed to do so.

The Sekhosanas appeared on Monday facing similar charges and were released on bail of R150 000 each.

Part of Mothamaha’s bail conditions are that he must not enter the offices of the municipality, not interfere with the investigations nor intimidate witnesses.

The case was postponed to September 30 for further investigations. – Staff Reporter

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