uMngeni council refuses CFO legal counsel during inquiry

2010-08-04 00:00

UMNGENI Municipality chief financial officer Bertus van der Merwe asked the council to provide him with legal representation, but his request has been turned down.

This emerged at the resumption of the commission of inquiry into allegations of maladministration at the municipality.

At the start of the proceedings recently, a commissioner, advocate Vusi Khuzwayo, referred to Van der Merwe as the CFO, prompting Van der Merwe to ask whether he is appearing in his personal capacity or as the CFO. He said the reason he asked is that his request for legal assistance has been turned down by the council.

He said this was decided after councillor Pam Passmoor (who serves on the commission) put forward a resolution that the council should not pay for his legal counsel as he was appearing in his personal capacity.

Khuzwayo said it is not his job to say whether Van der Merwe should receive legal representation. He told the CFO that the commission is not a trial but a fact-finding mission and that Van der Merwe reserves the right not to answer any questions.

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