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Two company owners deny benefiting from millions paid to Bojanala ‘erroneously’

2020-02-20 18:00

Owners of two companies – one of them an award-winning actress – that earned millions of rands soon after R134 million was “erroneously” transferred into the account of a North West municipality, have distanced themselves from the businesses and millions paid to them.

Both companies might have also benefited from double or duplicated payments as reflected on a leaked municipal ledger account.

Likopane Liboko Trading and Projects and Meme Ditshego Enterprise were paid a total of R17 million between March and May last year from the Bojanala District Municipality for the clearance of illegal dumping sites and for catering at events.

The payments were made about two weeks after the North West department of cooperative governance and traditional affairs transferred R134 million into the Bojanala’s account, money which was meant for the Rustenburg Local Municipality RDP housing project.

It has also emerged from other payments that Bojanala went on a spending spree on items that were not a priority because it was in financial distress.

It has since emerged that Bojanala was only due to receive R49 000 from the department.

The multi-million rands error – and how it happened – is now part of a forensic investigation commissioned by the provincial Treasury.

Finance MEC Motlalepula Rosho said the scope of the investigation was recently widened to look into the money trail. This was reiterated by Gordon Kegakilwe, MEC of cooperative governance and traditional affairs, who said money went “into the municipality, left the municipality and went to companies”.

Read: How R134million erroneously transferred into a municipality's bank account dissapeared on the same day

City Press previously reported on how the municipal’s ledger account, which showed a series of payments, was expected to help investigators follow the money trail.

Read: ‘People must be arrested’ for Bojanala’s erroneous R134 million transfer

A check with the two companies’ owner, revealed the unexpected.

Company 1

Meme Ditshego, who rose to fame on the old Setswana television comedy Ga Re Dumele, in which she plays the character of Josephine, confirmed that she was the sole director of Meme Ditshego Enterprise. The director’s name is reflected as Meme Boitshoko Kumalo.

“Yes, that is my company, but I don’t know anything about all the payments you are talking about. I can only remember a payment or two in January or February last year,” Ditshego said.

According to the ledger account, covering the period from March 1 to June 24 last year, her company raked in R6 million in events-related payments that included catering, décor and transport.

The highest amount paid was R980 276 for “IDP rep forum at Rustenburg Civic Centre on May 14 2019”.

Ironically, the payment was made on the same date the event took place according to the “purpose” as reflected on the ledger.

Ditshego asked for the list of payments to be emailed to her. “I am not really hands-on with the company. Allow me to investigate all that and revert to you,” she said.

She later acknowledged receipt of the email but neither responded nor took calls from City Press.

This week, her company’s status was listed as “deregistration”.

Company 2

Likopane Liboko is, according to the ledger, was paid R5.5 million in two payments on March 22 last year for “desludging sceptic tanks”.

These were followed by 10 more payments by May 21. Among them were duplicate amounts paid under different “transaction” numbers and the same amounts paid several times in one day for different jobs.

No clarity was given on the scope of the work.

One payment of R896 000 was paid to Likopane Liboko three times on May 7 with the first one paid for “clearing of illegal dump”.

The other one was marked, “clearing and maintenance of illegal dumping hot spots – Bodplaas East” while the third one was for “TLB, five tipper trucks and labour to clean and maintenance of illegal dumping hot spots – Motla/Cyferskuil”.

There was also R448 000 paid three times between May 7 and 14 under almost similar circumstances.

A companies database search reflects Moses Malesa (48) as the only director of Likopane Liboko which was registered in 2014. He is also a director of eight other companies. He was left as the sole director after two other people resigned.

Owners of two companies that earned millions of rands soon after R134 million was “erroneously” transferred into the account of a North West municipality, have distanced themselves from the businesses and millions paid to them.

Malesa confirmed his ID number, which is similar to the one the company is registered under. But he denied owning Likopane Liboko.

“I do not know what you’re talking about. I do not own that company,” he told City Press.

Asked if perhaps his personal details could have been used to register a company which earned millions of rands from Bojanala, he said calmly: “I will have to check ... I don’t know what you are talking about.”

Malesa has also not responded to messages or calls from City Press since the initial conversation more than a week ago.

More questionable payments

It has also emerged from other payments that Bojanala went on a spending spree on items that were not a priority because it was in financial distress.

One company was paid R620 000 for “maintenance of printers” in three instalments paid over three days.

The same ledger shows that another one was paid R28 000 for “loud hailing and public participation” while R701 460 was paid for “catering for official opening of the Swartruggens small office on April 30 2019. Transport for people attending the opening”.

Meanwhile, MEC Rosho has promised that the investigation would be completed in three weeks time. Kegakilwe said a preliminary investigation was already “not saying good about the municipality”. Archie Babeile, Bojanala Municipality spokesperson, said they were not going to respond pending the outcome of the investigation.


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March 29 2020