MOKOPANE – Three weeks after Bosveld reported about a R2,9 million fuel fraud investigation by the Hawks, committed in the local municipality between 1 November and 10 February, an employee was last week arrested for the theft of fuel.
According to Malesela Selokela, the Divisional Head of Communications at the municipality, the Mahwelereng police received a tip-off from concerned residents that a municipal official was committing fuel card fraud.
You may also want to read:Hawks zoom in on R2,9m municipal fuel fraud
“The police followed the suspect to his house on Thursday, 23 August, and found him putting diesel into a private vehicle at his house in Masodi village, from the municipality’s 1000 litre diesel tank.”
Selokela said the suspect was stationed at the Nkidikitlana satellite office.
“The man would load up 1 000 litres of fuel when requested at the municipal depot, for use by the municipal vehicles at the Nkidikitlana satellite office.”
Fuel to the value of R15 000 was found in the suspect’s possession.
According to the police, the man is thought to be involved in illegal fuel transactions, selling fuel at a discounted rate of between R8 and R10 a litre.”
Selokela said the municipality has opened a case of the misuse of petrol cards amounting to R2,9 million when an investigation revealed that municipal officials are using petrol cards for private vehicle fill-up and selling petrol to the community.
“A case was opened after the finance departments noticed inconsistencies in fuel consumption and the withdrawing of fuel several times a day.
“Upon comparing fuel consumption statements and records, finance management and the supply chain section at the depot realised there were discrepancies and that fraud was committed.”
The Mayor of Mogalakwena, Andrina Matsemela, said municipal officials who steal from the poor, will not be tolerated.
“We cannot condone this behaviour. 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,” she said.
Cst. Mantutule Masingi, Spokesperson for Mahwelereng police said a case of theft was opened and is currently under investigation.