Mahikeng must institute in-depth land audit

Written by Zandre. Posted in Editor's Viewpoint

Mahikeng Local Municipality (MLM) mayor, Betty Diakanyo, members of the mayoral committee, the municipality’s municipal Manager, Thabo Mokoena and other senior officials responsible for the daily operations of the municipal entity must take residents of the provincial capital into their confidence and explain to them why some of them were continually alleged to be involved in the illegal sale of land under the care of the municipality.

If anyone of them denies any knowledge of the ongoing allegations of irregular sale of municipal land to various individuals and organisations, then they must explain how come there is so much land grabbing taking place in the municipal area. They must tell the public who of them or people from outside the municipality were benefiting from this corrupt action.
These officials must explain how foreign nationals get access to land where they put up structures like tents used for churches and spaza shops. It seems improbable that these individuals can just come from nowhere and take occupation of unoccupied land without the permission of municipal officials.
It is common knowledge that rural land in villages is under the control of the local chieftainship who control land occupation including the sale thereof.
Mahikeng local municipality has during recent weeks been accused of failing to act against officials responsible for the illegal sale of land in Unit 3 and Extension 39 valued at R144m and R54m respectively. Mafikeng Mail first broke the story about the abandoned properties in Unit 3 built on land said to be illegally sold to questionable characters.
The provincial government is said to have lost millions of rands of  taxpayers’  money leaving  the provincial select committee on public accounts (SCOPA) with the headache of having to find those  responsible and force such individuals to account for the loss of the funds.
SCOPA has accused the local municipality of failing to hold its officials responsible for the sale of the land in unit 3 and the municipality agreed at a meeting with SCOPA where the departments of finance and human settlements and  local government were present that municipal officials had issued a title deed for the land but no follow-up was done and  officials also admitted that no internal investigations had been conducted to charge officials responsible for the improper sale of the land .
Reports have now surfaced that the land adjacent to the Marang Estate Development and Zastrofusion housing  Curro School  was also clouded with a lot of controversy as it was either illegally sold or the “secret” owners, said to be top provincial government individuals were  involved in clandestine dealings with the Mahikeng local municipality. This information has not yet been confirmed but local media houses are said to be “hot on the heals”  of the alleged persons.