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Mayor spends ratepayers’ money on ANC trip

OR TAMBO district mayor Nomakhosazana Meth used ratepayers’ money to travel to an ANC event in Mbombela on January 8.

The municipality paid close to R24000 for Meth and her personal assistant to travel to the event at Mbombela Stadium in Mpumalanga. The Daily Dispatch has seen a copy of the order.

But Meth defended the trip saying she had been invited to the celebrations in her capacity as OR Tambo mayor.

“I’m in government, I’m the mayor of the district – when I am invited in my capacity as the executive mayor I attend any event.

“In this Nelspruit case, I was not just attending as an ANC member. It was a special invitation as the district mayor of ORT.

“I attended there in that capacity and the municipality has to pay. The DA can invite me if they want – any party can do that – and the municipality has to pay,” said Meth.

When the Daily Dispatch asked to see a copy of the “special” invite, Meth said her personal assistant would furnish the Dispatch journalist with it.

Meth’s assistant Boitumelo Mongoato e-mailed a PDF copy of the invite purportedly sent from the ANC’s provincial office early January, a few days before the event.

However, information embedded in the document revealed it was created by Awethu Zumana, an ANC official in Calata House, at 10.13am on Friday, March 14, and converted from a Microsoft Word document to a PDF that same day.

Asked about this, Mongoato responded: “Kindly note we requested another letter from the ANC Provincial Office on the day, Friday, because we submitted the original sent to us.”

The invite, dated January 6, read: “The will be celebrating its 102nd anniversary and launching the Elections 2014 Manifesto. The President of the ANC and South Africa, his Excellency, Mr Jacob Zuma will deliver the January 8 Statement.

“You are therefore invited to attend this prestigious event as a guest to join our leadership and thousands of our members. Please note, due to financial constraints all our guests are kindly required to make their own travelling and accommodation arrangements.” — abongilem@dispatch.co.za


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