Today's Labour News

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MangaungCity Press reports that investigations are still underway following the uncovering a massive scam involving "ghost workers" in the Mangaung Metro Municipality in the Free State.

Meanwhile, R5.8 million was apparently paid out salaries, which amount is expected to go up because of ongoing investigations. Mangaung Executive Mayor Gregory Nthatisi confirmed that he was aware of “of around R5 million” spent on ghost employees, an accrued amount because the workers had been earning large amounts "quietly without doing any work". Last year, after Nthatisi found that for a period there had been ghost workers in the metro, he opened a case with the Hawks for a full-scale investigation of those “defrauding and stealing from the municipality”. He reported that with investigations still underway, six people had been handed over to the police, but he could not reveal further details about the ongoing probe. He went on to say: “It's not the ultimate number. We must continue to do our own internal investigation and then hand it over to the police. In a situation like this, even if we have more than 20, the others are still subjected to scrutiny because if you make a wrong accusation, that person may have the right to sue you. So, we must beyond reasonable doubt, say this is a ghost worker and we are now subjecting this to the police for thorough investigation and arrest.” Apparently, the "ghost" political appointees were mainly ANC regional members after the 2021 municipal polls. Nthathisi, who has been mayor since last year, pointed out that the ghost workers did not exist in his administration but were from the previous administration. A provincial Hawks spokesperson said they were still investigating the case and could neither confirm the number of people involved nor the amount defrauded as investigations “are at an advanced and sensitive stage”.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Lunga Simelane at City Press (subscriber access only)

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