A rugby trip, a picture, a probe

2009-06-10 00:00

DID the damning forensic probe into uMngeni Municipality highlighted in yesterday’s newspaper start with a photograph? It all began in November 2006 at a rugby Test match between the Springboks and England at Twickenham in the United Kingdom.

A row broke out because some people in the crowd were waving old South African flags. An overseas news reporter interviewed spectators for their comments, and one of those interviewed was uMngeni municipal manager Dumisani Vilakazi.

His photograph appeared in several newspapers and was spotted by a couple of keen-eyed Howick residents.

Not only did they recognise Vilakazi as the town’s municipal manager, but the man standing alongside him also appeared familiar.

They did their own probing and discovered that Vilakazi was pictured with Jonathan du Toit, the person who had sold a house to the municipality for R1,7 million to be used by the mayor.

Du Toit is also the brother of Danie du Toit who owns DDT Civils (Pty) Ltd).

According to the uMngeni Municipality’s quarterly budget report for June 2006, DDT Civils was awarded a tender by the council to the value of over R2 million for the erection of a sports and recreation multi-purpose centre

The Witness ran a story on this coincidence in March 2007.

Vilakazi was interviewed and he said at the time that he was on holiday in London and had bought his own ticket to Twickenham.

The report on the forensic investigation alleges differently and claims that Du Toit paid R13 750 for Vilakazi to attend the rugby match at Twickenham.

According to the report, Vilakazi claims to have paid back R5 000, but allegedly could not supply proof of payment.

By July 2007, the then KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Local Government, Mike Mabuyakhulu, confirmed that he had instituted a forensic investigation within the uMngeni Municipality.

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