By Charles Baloyi
Gauteng premier David Makhura is still determined to bring the alleged thieves to book after a staggering R44-million went missing from the provincial sports and recreation department last year.
The millions disappeared during MEC Faith Mazibuko’s time in office. Mazibuko is now the MEC for community and safety.
She was replaced by Mbali Hlophe. Seven senior public servants suspected to have been involved in the embezzlement of the millions have been suspended without pay.
Their disciplinary hearing will start this week, having been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
But with the country having eased some of the lockdown restrictions, Makhura said it was time for heads to roll.
The suspended officials were stopped from reporting for duty late last year and have not been paid a cent this year as they wait to hear their fate.
Makhura launched an independent forensic investigation to get to the bottom of the matter.
He wants the suspended officials to pay back the money should they be found guilty by the committee that has been set up to hear their case, or face dismissal.
Their assets could also be sold to recover the money.
Makhura’s spokesperson, Vuyo Mhaga, said the officials were saved by the pandemic. He said if found guilty, there will be dire consequences for them.
Mhaga said Makhura is tired of talking as he wants to see justice prevail.
“The disciplinary processes are under way. We can also confirm the public servants are still suspended without pay.
“The matter will be speeded up and hopefully by the end of the year the seven officials will know their fate and the matter will be dealt with. The premier will not rest until he gets to the bottom of this mess,” he added