uMngeni corruption inquiry to resume today

2010-07-05 00:00

THE commission of inquiry into allegations of fraud and corruption in the uMngeni Municipality is set to resume today after a two-week adjournment.

Proceedings were stopped to allow for a representative from Ubuntu Forensic Investigation, the company that conducted the forensic probe into the municipality, to give evidence.

A key focus of the commission is the conduct of the dismissed municipal manager, Dumisani Vilakazi, and whether he has compromised the municipality’s credibility and integrity.

At the start of the proceedings, Vilikazi objected to the presence of two members of the panel. They were evidence leader advocate Paul Schoeman and the secretary of the commission, attorney Dumisani Xaba.

Schoeman chaired the disciplinary hearing that lead to Vilakazi’s dismissal. The former municipal manager said it is unfair that they are part of the commission as they had been involved in the council inquiry.

Just prior to the commission’s closure, evidence was lead by Gordon Haygarth on the manner in which municipal rates were applied to retirement villages Amberglen and Amber Valley. They were rated as sectional title properties and not as retirement villages. The residents took the matter to the Human Rights Commission, which ruled in their favour. However, the municipality did not act on this ruling.

Proceedings closed after Haygarth was cross-examined by Schoeman and Vilakazi, who was representing himself at the hearing.

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