Probe into housing fraud

2013-10-15 00:00

DETECTIVES from Durban Commercial Crime are now tasked to investigate councillors and officials implicated in the controversial Manase audit report.

This come after the DA laid charges at the Durban Central police station against former councillors and officials who allegedly sold low-cost houses.

At the heart of the allegation against 11 councillors and officials is that they took money from beneficiaries and other residents with the promise of either fast-tracking them on the housing waiting list, or making sure their names got onto the list.

It is believed the houses were sold for between R1 500 and R20 000 each.

Last month, the party laid charges against four councillors, three former councillors, two ward committee members and one municipal official.

All were named in the forensic report into the municipality released in July.

Yesterday, police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane said the case was very sensitive and had been lined up with other high profile cases and the docket was with the Durban Commercial Unit.

DA eThekwini caucus leader Zwakele Mncwango yesterday said the selling of low-cost houses meant for poor people constituted a criminal act.

Special Investigating Unit (SIU) spokesperson Boy Ndala said that unit is not involved in any of the investigations flowing from the Manase report.

“All the matters are being investigated by the anti-corruption task team. The SIU recommended that it would be best for the issue of housing to be dealt with internally through the Department of Human Settlements’ anti-corruption unit.”

Mncwango said his party was considering taking the matter to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.

“We want to know why the speaker refused to charge the sitting councillors linked to the fraud. The councillors who are still public representatives linked to this fraud should be charged and disciplined internally,” he said.

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