Ex-mayor charged with fraud

2011-08-20 00:00

FORMER Uthukela district mayor Stanley Dladla had a second brush with the Hawks yesterday. He and the head of disaster management at the district municipality, Zwangawe Sithole, were arrested at their offices and charged with fraud.

The controversial former mayor, who is currently the head of water services at the municipality, had his first brush with the Hawks when he was arrested in Pretoria in July on suspicion of dealing in gold and diamonds. Those charges were withdrawn and Dladla is suing the police for unlawful arrest.

Dladla and Sithole were taken to the Ladysmith Regional Office yesterday morning where they were charged with fraud and and contravening the Prevention of Corruption Act and released on R10 000 bail.

Hawks spokesperson Colonel McIntosh Polela said the two senior municipal officials each owned companies that had acquired tenders from the Uthukela Municipality. However, they had failed to declare their interests in these companies. Dladla and Sithole are expected to appear again in court on October 28.

When charges were dropped against Dladla in the Pretoria court, he indicated at the time that he had applied for a licence to trade in gold and diamonds. He said that he was in Pretoria with his friend to learn the gems trade.

In 2004 Dladla resigned as mayor of the Uthukela District to take up a post as executive corporate affairs director of Uthukela Water.

This was a company formed to provide water services to surrounding municipalities, which became the major shareholders. These were Newcastle, Umzinyathi, Amajuba and Uthukela. The municipalities signed service provider agreements with the company.

Uthukela Water later collapsed as a business entity and Uthukela District Municipality became the water service provider with Dladla as head of water services.

When Mike Mabuyakhulu was MEC for Local Government a forensic investigation was conducted into the Uthukela District and the water utility.

A case was allegedly opened against Dladla with the Scorpions (the predecessors of the Hawks.)

Sources believe that the current matter could be a continuation of that investigation.

Neither Dladla nor Sithole could be reached for comment yesterday.

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