Manase: DA to fight for release

2012-10-22 00:00

DEMOCRATIC Alliance leader Helen Zille yesterday said her party would leave no stone unturned in ensuring that the controversial Manase report into corruption in the eThekwini Municipality was released to the public.

Speaking at Lamontville, near Durban, Zille said not only will she write to President Jacob Zuma asking him to intervene, but her party would launch a court application to force the municipality to release the report after city manager Sibusiso Sithole failed to heed the DA’s requests.

Her statements came three days after former eThekwini city manager Michael Sutcliffe served summons on Sithole and the council for statements made relating to the forensic report.

The Manase report uncovered allegations of fraud and corruption in which 136 officials and 11 councillors were reportedly implicated.

It also found that R1,3 billion was misspent due to fraud, councillors and officials doing business with council and overpayments in tenders as well as R428 million in irregular expenditure in human settlements.

A total of 30 Metro police officers were allegedly found to have bought driver’s licences and 40 others were involved in the taxi industry, though prohibited by law.

Only a summary of the report was made public earlier this year and the municipality had indicated intention to release it in December.

Yesterday, Zille accused the ANC of hiding something by withholding the report, which was drawn up by Manase and Associates.

“Let me say now we will not rest until we uncover what the ANC is hiding …” Zille said.

The legal threat comes as the DA is celebrating two court victories over the appointment of former director of public prosecution Menzi Simelane and an order to National Prosecuting Authority to produce records for the review of the decision not to prosecute Zuma.

Zille also said her party was making a collective complaint to Zuma on behalf of eThekwini ratepayers about corruption and fraud.

She was adamant that Zuma would not release the report before the ANC national congress in December.

“If he did he will lose at Mangaung,” said Zille.

Zuma’s spokesperson Mac Maharaj said: “I don’t comment on anything she intends doing. When she writes, contact me.”

• mayibongwe.

maqhina@witness.co.za

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