Senior government manager arrested for double dipping salaries

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

The Department of Water and Sanitation has welcomed the arrest of a Director who was found to be double dipping by way of earning a salary from both the department and the Moses Kotane Local Municipality in the North West Province. 

“The department upholds its stance of zero tolerance to fraud and corruption and welcomes the arrest as a sign of government’s commitment to fighting fraud and corruption,” the department said on Tuesday.

The official was arrested on Monday when the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigations (HAWKS) and the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) executed a Warrant of Arrest. 

She was appointed in the department in April 2022 after a post became vacant where she applied, was shortlisted, interviewed, and then appointed on merit but seemingly did not resign from her former position with the municipality.

“This matter came to the attention of the Department in September 2022 when the municipality enquired into the employment status of the aforementioned departmental official, whom it transpired was still in the employ of the concerned municipality.

“Subsequently, a formal investigation was conducted by the department’s Chief Directorate: Internal Audit, wherein it was confirmed that the official was indeed double dipping as she was dually employed by both the department and the municipality,” the department said.

During this time, she continued to receive an income from both entities for a period of six months. The investigation revealed that she was able to achieve this by submitting applications to the municipality for leave of absence in the form of sick, vacation and study leave to justify her continued absence from the municipality whilst at the same time rendering full time services to the Department.

After the investigation, disciplinary proceedings were initiated by the department against the said official.

Pursuant to several attempts to unsuccessfully delay the disciplinary proceedings, the official eventually pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and dishonesty. The Chairperson’s report on sanction is currently being finalised.

The municipality accordingly reported the matter to the South African Police Services (SAPS) for further handling and investigation.

The department shared its investigation report and supporting evidence gathered during the investigation to the SAPS in order to expedite their investigation.

“This swift action should be construed as a grave general deterrent to all other officials within the Public Service as well as those members of the public who interact with Public Service Departments and Entities, that any contravention of any laws will be met with rigorous consequences,” the department said. –