South Africa: Former EC Municipality Speaker Ordered to Pay Back Money

Former Maletswayi Local Municipality Speaker Kholekile Lange, 46, has been ordered to pay back the municipality R65 000 in instalments of R3000 from January next year.

The former speaker was convicted for 228 counts of fraud in August by the Aliwal North Regional Court.

Between 2011 and 2016 Lange lodged fraudulent vehicle claims at Maletswayi Local Municipality now known as Walter Sisulu Local Municipality using distinct particulars.

In 2017, the Eastern Cape Hawks' Serious Corruption Investigation office conducted an investigation into the falsified claims.

Investigations revealed that his vehicle was never utilised for official trips. In other instances Lange would lodge a claim only to find that his vehicle was in for repairs.

Faced with all the evidence, Lange pleaded guilty to 228 counts of fraud. He was subsequently sentenced to five years suspended for five years.

Added to his five-year sentence, he was ordered to undergo 16 hours per month of correctional supervision at Dordrecht Prison for three years.

The National Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya commended the work of the investigation team.

"The work by the investigating officers is commendable. To investigate a case of 228 charges such as this is equivalent to investigating 228 ordinary case dockets. It is unfortunate that municipalities have become soft targets for those who want to steal from the taxpayers. One expects that councillors should protect the taxpayers from fraudsters," said Lieutenant General Lebeya.

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