Public outcry brings probe

2010-06-25 00:00

AFTER a series of public marches by Mandeni residents, including a violent protest in which government offices were burnt down, KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Co-operative Gover­nance and Traditional Affairs Nomusa Dube launched a forensic investigation into the affairs of the local municipality.

A spokesperson for MEC Dube, Lennox Mabaso, said the move to institute an investigation into the municipality was prompted by allegations of maladministration, fraud and corruption received from concerned members of the public.

“Matters under investigation include allegations on procurement and tender irregularities, theft, nepotism and others,” Mabaso said.

Recently, scores of Mandeni residents took to the streets demanding that the MEC intervenes to address irregularitiesin the municipality.

In one of the marches, the local Social Development Department’s offices were burnt and other municipality infrastructure was destroyed.

Announcing the investigation, Dube said: “We have appointed a reputable firm of forensic investigators to go and dig deeper into these allegations so that, indeed, if there is any shred of evidence of wrongdoing by anyone, it can be dealt with without any fear or any favour … those who are tarnishing the reputation of our public institutions such as municipalities must be exposed.”

Dube said she views the allegations in a very serious light as they have a bearing on the level of confidence people invest in the Mandeni Municipality.

“The investigation will assist in clearing the municipality against any innuendo or assist us in rooting out wrong elements in our municipalities.

“We invite any member of the public who has any evidence … of any form of wrongdoing in the Mandeni Municipality to contact our department so that we can link them up with the investigators,” Dube said.

A few months after assuming office in August last year, Dube took the unprecedented decision of placing under administration four municipalities, including Indaka, Ukhahlamba, uMhlabuyalingana and the Msunduzi Municipality.

In his latest report on the financial audit outcomes on municipalities, the Auditor-General, Terrence Nombembe, praised KwaZulu-Natal for being the most improved province.

He said it has the highest number of municipalities having received unqualified audit opinions, despite being the province with the highest number of municipalities in the country.

Nombembe attributed this achievement to decisive political intervention by the provincial government.

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