Shelembe’s wife charged

2011-08-05 00:00

THE wife of former Msunduzi deputy mayor Alpha Shelembe, who is also an employee of the municipality, has been charged with dishonesty, the municipality’s administrator, Sibusiso Sithole, announced yesterday.

Speaking during a briefing to update the media about the progress of prosecutions of suspended council employees, Sithole said Shelembe’s wife, Nondumiso Hlela, who worked as manager in the speaker’s office while her husband was council speaker, is being investigated for her role in the bogus Inkosi Mlaba cultural event. The ghost event of January 18, 2009, cost ratepayers R1,8 million, which was used instead for party poliitcal purposes.

Sithole said Hlela is being charged along with Hazel Xolo, who was co-ordinator in the speaker’s office at the time.

Hlela and Xolo were suspended in November, but The Witness learnt recently that they are back at work. According to sources, Hlela retained her position while Xolo was shifted to another department.

Sithole said the matter is being dealt with by the Special Investigating Unit.

The administrator said the two are being pursued with the possibility of recovering money relating to the R1,8 million and to proceed with criminal charges if necesssary.

Sithole said that other money that the council intends to recover is the R11 million paid to Unique Mbane for the provision of water meters in the city.

He said that the municipality’s quest to unravel what had transpired in the awarding of the R240 million meter reading tender to Unique Mbane has been helped by former Msunduzi Deputy mayor Mervyn Dirks’s revelations published in The Witness about how the tender was awarded.

The former deputy mayor claimed the ANC’s Moses Mabhida regional executive committee micro-managed the municipality to the extent that it dished out instructions to staff and was instrumental in deciding who got tenders.

“The erstwhile deputy mayor could even be roped in as a witness,” said Sithole. — Witness Reporters.

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Abuse of municipal vehicles and theft probed:

DISCIPLINARY hearings for suspended Msunduzi municipal credit control manager Ajay Beharie are continuing, said admninistrator Sibusiso Sithole yesterday.

Beharie was suspended on allegations of fraud and corruption in March.

Sithole said hearings into

Beharie’s case were held on July 8 and 22 and that because of the seriousness of the charges, external assistance has been sought for prosecution.

Still suspended are acting procurement manager Rakesh Singh, tender documents manager Thavandree Gounder and contract specifications officer Tyrone Ashby. Investigators have been appointed to probe the allegations made against them.

The trio were suspended on “allegations pertaining to supply chain management”.

Disciplinary hearings continue for other suspended managers

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Fuel theft: 17 probed

SEVENTEEN municipal employees are being investigated for stealing fuel belonging to the municipality.

Sithole said all the employees will be charged criminally. “The investigations are at an advanced stage,” he said. The Witness understands that the fuel theft amounts to thousands of rands.

A CRIMINAL case has been opened against a traffic officer intern in the council who allegedly stole a private vehicle while the car was impounded at the traffic headquarters in Washington Road.

A senior internal audit manager’s qualifications are being investigated.

In addition, several employees are being probed for misuse of council vehicles and property.

Certain other employees are being investigated for soliciting money with the promise of providing jobs.

Administrator Sibusiso Sithole told reporters that he will speak personally with former Msunduzi Mayor Zanele Hlatshwayo to seek clarity as to why the council paid for air fares for a non-municipal employee to travel with the mayor and other councillors on a trip to Atlanta in the United States.

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