Msunduzi blitzes municipal brush cutter thieves

2011-11-25 00:00

A SENIOR official in the Msunduzi Municipality parks and recreation department has been arrested by the special investigative unit (SIU) for stealing equipment belonging to the council.

Msunduzi administrator Sibusiso Sithole confirmed the arrest as part of a blitz on thieving employees. He said more arrests are imminent.

Insiders told The Witness that theft of brush-cutters and hacksaws has been rife in the department. The municipal management and the police instigated a sting operation to put a stop to it.

The insiders say that management noticed during the off season for grass cutting that many brush-cutters and hacksaws had gone missing. An investigation found that employees and even managers, within the department were stealing the equipment.

Sithole said he could not comment further as investigations are at a sensitive stage.

KZN Co-operative Governance MEC Nomusa Dube, reacting to the arrest in a statement, said: “Our information indicates that there are many more officials who are involved in this theft of municipal property. We will continue to work with the police to ensure that all criminal elements are uprooted.

“We cannot afford to have officials trying to reverse the good work that the provincial government is doing to restore the capital city to its former glory days.

“We are calling on the many good Samaritans in the employ of the city to come to the rescue of the municipality by reporting any bad potatoes in their midst.

“Such information will be treated in utmost confidentiality,” said Dube.

The Democratic Alliance caucus leader in the council, Bill Lambert, said he is delighted that the long arm of the law has caught a culprit.

Inkatha Freedom Party caucus leader Dolo Zondi said he welcomes the arrest, but added that this was the tip of the iceberg.

“There has been continuous theft of brush-cutters and the investigators should also look at probing previous councillors who were also participating in the theft,” he said.

Attempts to get a comment from the SIU were unsuccessful at the time of going to print.

• thandom@witness.co.za

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