Manase report: municipal speaker Naidoo accuses DA of political grandstanding

2013-09-06 00:00

THE war of words over councillors implicated in wrongdoing by the Manase report intensified yesterday, with municipal speaker Logie Naidoo accusing the DA of political grandstanding.

Naidoo was responding to claims by the DA that the police and the ANC-led council were dragging their heels in the investigation of 11 officials who allegedly sold RDP houses.

The DA has given Naidoo 14 days to start ethics violation proceedings against four ANC councillors who are still employed by the city.

Naidoo said the DA submitted the letter to him on Wednesday.

He said the DA was aware that the matter was being investigated.

This week, the party laid charges at the Durban central police station against former eThekwini municipality councillors and officials who allegedly sold the houses.

DA eThekwini caucus leader Zwakele Mncwango said areas that were affected by the RDP fraud include wards 13, 30, 31, 46, 57. He said the party wants all those implicated in the fraud to be arrested. “Those councillors who are still sitting in the municipality should be fired. Their actions have given the municipality a bad name,” he said.

Mncwango said officials involved in the widespread practice of selling RDP houses illegally do not deserve to be employed by the city. The houses were sold for between R1 500 and R20 000 each.

“Some cases show how ANC councillors exploit poor residents, with Manase investigators documenting one councillor as soliciting a resident to have sex with him for a house. We want action against councillors who are charging people money for RDP houses that should be free,” he said.

The party’s chief whip Sharon Chetty said the party laid charges against seven individuals, excluding the four current sitting councillors, to ensure accountability, as no action had been taken against them.

“This is another reason why transparency is so important; the DA was actively involved at council motivating for the return of the housing list. It is clear now why the ANC has rejected bringing back the housing list, so that their comrades can continue to benefit and rob the poor,” she said.

Mncwango said the report states that Manase investigators handed the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) the information as early as July 2011, but nothing has been done. “This week, we met with SIU manager Tony Govindsamy to ask why they are not investigating. He admitted that the SIU took the strange step of sending the case information to the national Human Settlements Department.”

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