Mayor’s house may be sold at a loss

2011-12-15 00:00

UMNGENI Municipality will be closing an embarrassing chapter after it finally decided to sell the mayor’s house, which was acquired under questionable circumstances.

Bought for over R1,7million, the house at 1 Mimosa Road in Hilton Gardens may be sold at a loss after standing empty for more than a year.

The house was bought for former mayor Edward Dladla, who it was said at the time could no longer live in his own house in Mpophomeni because of security threats. Later a forensic probe questioned the close relationship between the seller and former municipal manager, Dumisani Vilakazi. The house was the subject of two forensic investigations and most recently a commission of inquiry.

The report by the commission is expected early in the new year.

The KZN Legislature’s standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) also found it irregular that Dladla had been living in the house rent-free.

Arrangements were made for him to pay back the municipality for the time he was living there at an instalment of R2 000 a month.

Yesterday acting municipal manager Steve Simpson said council resolved that the advice of three estate agents would be sought on the selling price.

He expected that the selling price would be just over a million rand.

Simpson acknowledged that having to post security at the house and send staff to clean the gardens had been an unnecessary expense.

Hilton ward councillor and Democratic Alliance caucus leader Pam Passmoor said the house had been a five-year saga of wasteful expenditure.

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