Further sanctions are unlikely

2013-07-27 00:00

THE leader of the ANC’s eThekwini region, Sibongiseni Dhlomo, says unless criminal charges are brought against former mayor Obed Mlaba, he is unlikely to receive any further sanction.

Allegations of collusion and tender interference against the former mayor are contained in a document known as the Manase report.

The report, created by auditors Manase and Associates and released to the Weekend Witness on Tuesday after a successful Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) application, is a 7 500-page document.

It was commissioned by the KZN Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) in 2011 to investigate irregular expenditure, collusion and corruption within the municipality.

The document reveals a revolving-door culture and blatant disregard of ethics by councillors, staff and service providers.

Dhlomo, speaking at the Hilton hotel on Thursday, at an event hosted by the Xubera Institute focusing on the report, was cautious when probed on Mlaba’s political future. Mlaba is soon to take up the position of high commissioner in the UK.

“[Mlaba] is no longer a councillor at the municipality and, therefore, cannot be disciplined. Sanction within the ANC could be a possibility. The only consequence he could face is if criminal charges are laid against him,” said Dhlomo.

Former city manager Michael Sutcliffe said the Manase Report “should never have been made public”.

Sutcliffe defended the massive ­irregular expenditure by the housing department — as revealed in the 2009/10 auditor-general’s audit ­report, the basis of the Manase investigation.

He claimed that if it had followed legislation, the city would never have been able to deliver low-cost housing on the scale that it did.

Xubera’s Futhi Sibiya said while the report made various claims, the lack of action against those implicated “has let the public down”.

SACP KZN secretary-general Themba Mthembu said the findings came as the result of neo-liberal policies in local government.

Former KZN MPL Makhosi Khoza said that as a society, we were “retrogressing”.

Khoza said greater sanction is needed against those implicated in the report.

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