The FF Plus has asked Lieutenant-general Bethuel Zuma, provincial police commissioner of Mpumalanga, to investigate possible irregularities relating to a land transaction after the Municipality of Mbombela purchased a farm of 161 hectares near Emjindini in Barberton, Mpumalanga, for R34 million.
According to the FF Plus's information, a company with ties to an ANC Member of Parliament bought the land from a farmer in 2012 for R12 million.
In 2017, the land was presumably sold to a company and colleague of the said ANC MP for R15 million, who has now reportedly sold it to the Mbombela Local Municipality for R34 million. That is R19 million more than what it was purchased for in 2017.
Apparently, the registration date for the sale of the property in 2017 and the re-registration date for the 2020 sale fall on exactly the same day, namely 2020/09/18.
The Mbombela Municipality referred enquiries about the costs related to the land transaction to the provincial Department of Human settlements. The FF Plus has now sent an official letter to the Premier of Mpumalanga, Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane, to determine whether the province is aware of the transaction.
The FF Plus suspects that although a large amount of money was spent to purchase the piece of land, the Mbombela council did not consider the matter beforehand and no formal decision was made to finance the purchase.
The FF Plus will enquire about this in the council.
The Municipality's debt burden to service providers is very high and the council does not have the financial resources to pay exorbitant prices for land.
Using Municipalities to pay artificially high prices for properties owned by cadres is nothing but the misappropriation of taxpayers' money and the FF Plus will not rest until the truth behind the matter has been exposed fully.