Mathabatha suspends head of public works on allegations of corruption

Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha is wielding his axe against officials found on the wrong side of the law in the corruption-infested province.

Mathabatha's spokesperson, Kenny Mathivha, confirmed his boss has suspended the head of public works, Timothy Seroka, on allegations of corruption. Mathivha said Mathabatha had suspended Seroka for three months without pay.

Seroka was alleged to have defrauded the department of R11,000 by claiming petrol money for a larger car than the one he travelled in for work purposes. Seroka is also accused of irregularly claiming hotel stays for official trips in June to Tzaneen, the public works head office in Gauteng and the Limpopo Legislature in Lebowakgomo, among other claims.

According to a document seen by The Citizen, Seroka claimed R11 405.88 for 1 790km from the department. Seroka claimed to have used his official vehicle, a Mercedes Benz ML 350, when he allegedly instead used a smaller car, a Renault Sandero 1.4.

"When you claim for a big vehicle like a Mercedes M, the money is more than when you use a small vehicle like a Sandero," National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union provincial secretary Jacob Adams said at the time.

"Seroka used the small vehicle and claimed for the ML because it's a lot of money and that is tantamount to fraud. He stole from the department."

Departmental spokesperson Joel Seabi confirmed his head of department had been suspended.

"We have received and seen the letter of the suspension from the premier," said Seabi.

Seroka reserved his comment since he had not received anything from the premier or his office. "I have not received any letter of sort from the premier. I will respond once I have the letter."

The action taken against Seroka was not the first taken against high-profile officials in the Limpopo provincial departments. In November, the premier suspended spokesperson Kenny Mathivha for a similar offence.

Yesterday, the Democratic Alliance in Limpopo claimed the action by Mathabatha was simply not enough when many members of his Cabinet were recently investigated for a number of offences.

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