Zavanai Katikiti was able to access his money although he was already in Zimbabwe. Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Zavanai Katikiti was able to access his money although he was already in Zimbabwe. Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Municipality under fire for paying salary of deported official

By Ntombi Nkosi Time of article published Mar 18, 2021

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Johannesburg - The Rand West City Local Municipality is under fire for corruption for allegedly paying a former senior manager his full salary despite him being deported.

Zavanai Katikiti, 38, a former manager for financial control and reporting at the municipality was deported to Zimbabwe in September last year by the Department of Home Affairs for allegedly contravening immigration laws.

This has sparked opposition parties and civil organisations to call on the municipality to recuperate the money and put it into good community use.

According to an employee, who asked to remain anonymous, Katikiti did not go through a vetting process when he joined the municipality between 2015 and 2016.

"Although he was deported in September, the following month, Katikiti got paid a full salary even though he had been deported. He was paid in November again, that included housing allowance, medical aid even though he was no longer in the country, that is illegal. This is clear corruption, municipal money must be recovered,“ the source said.

He added that Katikiti was able to access his money although he was already in Zimbabwe.

However, municipal manager Themba Goba on Wednesday dismissed the allegations.

“As soon as we received a correspondence from Home Affairs, Katikiti's contract was terminated. I am disputing that he was paid after he was deported," said Goba.

Former CFO Norah Lion also confirmed that she refused to authorise the payment to Katikiti after he was deported.

She too confirmed that Katikiti was paid his salary even though he had been deported.

“Though he was deported in September, he was paid for the full month of September. In October he was paid until the 25th. He was paid leave days in November, I am not sure about December as I left the municipality before the salary payments,” said Lion.

She revealed that his annual salary was about R1 million.

The DA’s constituency head at the municipality Jacques Julius said the party condemned the allegation of remuneration of Katikiti after he was deported.

He maintained that his party will write to the mayor of the municipality to ask for the facts.

"It is reckless and poor financial management if found to be true,“ said Julius.

He added that he would also write to Motsoaledi to find out how far he came with the urgent investigation he promised.

The investigation is expected to uncover where the documents came from.

“This is a fraudulent conduct done by Katikiti conniving with the ANC- led municipality officials. The aforementioned individual was employed without relevant documentation. Why was the municipality vetting not done through their HR to verify the employment status," said Itani Mukwevho, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Gauteng chairperson.

"Such monies must be recuperated precisely because they are meant for an improvement of service delivery. Relevant law enforcement must take its course,“ said Mukwevho.

South African National Civic Organisation Gauteng Chairperson Lebogang Mangaliso said the civic movement had brought various matters including this one several times to the municipality.

"The municipality should find a way to recover the money since it can go a long way to benefit the community," said Mangaliso.

Early this month, Motsoaledi announced his intention to set up a task team to review some permits that were issued by the department over the years.

"I identified the need to review the permits after realising a trend emerging from the outcomes of cases involving prominent people investigated by the department’s counter-corruption unit, which investigates wrongdoing by departmental officials,“ said Motsoaledi. He revealed that over the years, the counter-corruption unit has established that 66%, or nearly two out of every three reported cases, involved permitting.

Home Affairs did not respond to additional questions sent to it on Wednesday.

Quick Facts:

* South African Transport and Allied Workers' Union (Satawu) Zenzo Mahlangu was deported in 2017.

* Mpumalanga Department of Human Settlement head of department (HOD) Kebone Masange was deported in 2020

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Political Bureau

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