uMngeni probe ‘fruitless’

2010-07-14 00:00

THE investigator for Dobeyn Administration agreed yesterday that his investigation into alleged maladministration at uMngeni Municipality had been a completely fruitless exercise.

Evidence emerged that the appointment of Dobeyn may have been irregular as the process, which cost over R400 000, was allegedly not put out to tender. The Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA) says that any contract over R200 000 has to be awarded through the tender process.

Evidence also came to light that the reason the council rejected the Ubuntu forensic investigation was because legal opinion, sought by the municipality, advised that the investigation could not be used because a firm was appointed and not a “juristic person”.

However, in appointing Dobeyn Administration to replace the Ubuntu investigation, a similar oversight was made. Commission chairperson advocate Vusi Khuzwayo asked Dobeyn investigator Kugesh Naidoo: “When your company was appointed, was it you or your company?” Naidoo replied: “My company.”

Earlier, evidence leader Paul Schoeman asked Naidoo if he would agree that his appointment at considerable cost; not having access to the prior Ubuntu report; and making him solely reliant for information on the very officials who were fingered in the earlier report — was a completely fruitless exercise. Naidoo confirmed this.

After reading the Ubuntu report, Naidoo said he would have reached the same conclusions.

He also said that, in hindsight, if he had the evidence that Ubuntu had gathered in his own investigation, he would have come to the same conclusion.

Schoeman said what struck him was that the very officials Naidoo was required to investigate, namely municipal manager Dumisani Vilakazi and chief financial officer Bertus Van Der Merwe, ended up being his chief sources of information.

The investigator replied that he did not know that the officials he was talking to were implicated in the report.

Naidoo also confirmed that, like the Ubuntu investigators, he also did not see any crime intelligence report on security threats to mayor Edward Dladla. The decision to buy the mayor a house allegedly came about as a result of this crime report.

Questioned on his modus operandi and how he compiled the report, the Dobeyn investigator admitted that it was the first time he had done such an investigation. His previous work was in the corporate sector and involved feasibility studies.

Khuzwayo said: “That was a number-crunching exercise.” Naidoo replied: “Yes.”

Khuzwayo said it was important to get to the bottom of why there was a need to appoint an investigation into something that had already been investigated. He told Naidoo that perhaps those who appointed his company would be able to tell the commission about this.

Proceedings were adjourned until today.

 

 

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