Council appoints independent auditor to probe R1?mln ‘fund diversion’

2009-07-22 00:00

AN independent investigator has been appointed to probe the more than R1 million that was allegedly sourced from the Msunduzi Municipality to fund a political rally held in the city earlier this year, as well as death threats against council staff.

In a report tabled before the KZN Legislature yesterday on the challenges faced in various municipalities and the action taken by local government MEC Willies Mchunu, the Msunduzi Municipality is highlighted as one of seven councils facing various challenges. The others are: uMngeni, Endumeni, KwaSani, Umdoni, Emadlangeni, Umhlabuyalingana municipalities and Amajuba District Municipality.

Mchunu’s report said the independent external investigator has been instructed to probe the alleged R1 067 119 given to the ANC to hold a manifesto rally at the Qokololo Stadium in January.

A recent Witness report alleged that funds were sourced from the council under the pretext of holding an event called “the Nkosi Mlaba Cultural Day”on January 18.

Mchunu said the investigator will also probe the bidding process followed in awarding the R240 million tender for a water meter reading system that was ultimately suspended in Port Elizabeth, allegedly because it was problematic.

The Witness reported recently that the council’s executive committee (Exco) approved R80 million up front to get the new, high-technology water and electricity management system by PE-based company Unique Mbane SA (Pty) Ltd off the ground.

The MEC said that the alleged death threats against council staff,

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DA MP and former Msunduzi councillor Mark Steele said his party reported two weeks ago that senior officials in the Msunduzi Municipality had allegedly diverted a payment of over R1 million from an “Inkosi Mlaba Cultural Day” to fund an ANC election rally.

Steele said the documents used to authorise this expenditure were lodged with the auditor-general to investigate. “However, to date the ANC has not taken any action against its implicated members … ,” he said.

Steele said that while the auditor–general has committed to investigating this expenditure, his party believes that the ANC in KZN needs to take direct responsibility for this incident, and instigate its own action against corrupt members. — WR.

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