Get a less slippery hook, says opposition

2011-10-28 00:00

THE Democratic Alliance has commented that the Msunduzi Municipality needs to “use a different hook” to bring to book those charged for bringing the municipality to near financial ruin. This comes after deputy municipal manager for corporate services, Kevin Perumal, after being suspended for 18 months, was reinstated after the disciplinary committee instituted by the provincial intervention team acquitted him on all charges on Friday.

DA caucus leader in the council, Bill Lambert said, “The administrator (Sibusiso Sithole) was talking about the thing of Perumal being off the hook and I was horrified and appalled to read in The Witness headline: ‘Perumal off the hook’ and, on August 5 The Witness headline read: ‘[former municipal manager Rob] Haswell off the hook’.”

“What sort of hook are we using, it’s no damn good! Let’s get another hook,” said Lambert angrily. “The old adage says, it’s not over till the fat lady sings and she has not even started singing yet. The ratepayers and citizen of Msunduzi do not deserve this,” he said.

IFP caucus leader Dolo Zondi said, “Somebody has to account for the near collapse of Msunduzi because it is clear the investigation has been targeting the wrong people.” NFP caucus leader Patrick Bhengu also expressed his dismay at the decision, saying that clearly there must be people who are being protected if nobody is being found guilty of bringing the municipality to financial ruin.

Sithole said yesterday that the intervention team can choose to look into Perumal’s case to check if the presiding officers might have overlooked something. “At this stage we are studying the case and looking at our options,” he said.

He said that the case was not a fishing expedition by the municipality, as the intervention team had a winnable case.

He told The Witness that the near financial ruin of the council was multifaceted and that there are criminal cases still pending against some employees.

Sithole stated categorically that the council debt has not been audited yet, adding that when this exercise is embarked on there will be proof that the intervention did arrest and contain it.

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