Council bakkie abuse

2013-11-26 00:00

THE uMgungundlovu District Municipality (UMDM) is investigating three employees who were allegedly using municipal vehicles, during office hours, to transport furniture.

This follows a complaint by a Pietermaritzburg businessman, who allegedly caught his estranged wife, an emergency services department administration clerk, and her colleagues using three district municipality vehicles for personal use on Friday. The businessman (whose name is being withheld because he is in the process of divorcing his wife), alleged he saw his wife and her colleagues in the process of loading his furniture onto the state vehicles.

He said he approached her as she had no right to take the furniture and established she intended selling the furniture to her colleagues.

The businessman alleged some members of the group became aggressive towards him when he approached them.

He alleged they even threatened him when he was speaking to their boss, UMDM municipal manager Sibusiso Khuzwayo.

“They had already loaded the one state vehicle and I told them to off-load my furniture,” he said.

He said he was also upset that his estranged wife had attempted to remove the furniture during working hours with a state vehicle.

“They are fire and emergency personnel who were not tending to their duty, but their personal affairs. I then phoned their boss, but while I was speaking to him, the one guy kept threatening me, speaking to me in a loud voice,” he said.

The estranged wife, who denied the allegations, refused to comment further.

“Our communications department will be in contact with you for a comment,” she said before slamming the phone down.

UMDM spokesperson Mbali Ndlovu said the misuse of municipal assets was taken seriously.

Ndlovu confirmed an internal investigation into the allegations was under way by the fleet management unit.

“Once the investigation has been finalised, necessary disciplinary action will be conducted and implemented,” said Ndlovu.

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