7/25/2009South Africa: Government Official Implicated in Missing Traffic Camera Scandal
The mayor of Polokwane, South Africa accused the city manager of being involved in the disappearance of a traffic camera.
A municipal official in Polokwane, South Africa will return to work next week despite an ongoing investigation into a number of corruption charges, including involvement in the theft of a traffic camera. Municipal Manager Letsepe Thubakgale had been suspended on May 28 after the mayor raised questions about Thubakgale's possible role in the disappearance of a traffic camera from the intersection of Nelson Mandela and Vermukuliet streets, The Sowetan newspaper reported.
Mayor Thabo Makunyane had been furious that Thubakgale recorded an expense of 700,000 (US $90,000) for a replacement camera even though the device was available for 135,000 Rand (US $17,500). Thubakgale was also accused of mismanaging Polokwane's preparations as a host city for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
In May, Mayor Makunyane sent Thubakgale a letter of suspension. When Thubakgale refused to acknowledge it, he was formally suspended, with full pay, during a public council meeting for two months. Thubakgale argued that he never had a chance to respond to the charges leveled against him and that his suspension was improper.