uMsekeli official sells 14 properties fraudulently

2011-11-09 00:00

THE official entrusted with winding down the affairs of the defunct KZN municipal support services organisation, uMsekeli, ended up fraudulently selling 14 state-owned properties valued at over R4 million.

Siyabonga Dube is also the official who did not disclose that he had been fired as corporate services manager at Sisonke Municipality before accepting the position at uMsekeli.

When he was fired from ­uMsekeli, Dube turned up at Okhahlamba Municipality as the new municipal manager.

However, by October of last year he was fired yet again for not disclosing his wrongdoings at uMsekeli.

In a report to the KZN Legislature, Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Nomusa Dube said the Hawks are involved in investigating the fraudulent property deals.

When the errant official was fired from Msekeli the department knew of six illegal deals.

However, ongoing investigations have uncovered a further eight fraudulent sales.

The MEC said that when she learnt that Dube (not related) was employed as municipal manager at Okhalamba, she phoned the municipality.

“My instruction was that he should leave the building immediately or face arrest and that he was fired. We are keeping track of him,” she said.

Cogta spokesperson Lennox Mabaso said criminal proceedings have been instituted against Dube.

uMsekeli municipal support service was the successor to the development services board, which oversaw municipal services for rural areas. The KZN Legislature closed down ­uMsekeli as all rural areas fell under one or other of the 61 municipalities within the province and it was no longer cost-effective to have a support service.

Siyabonga Dube was appointed to deal with the administration during the winding down period.

The Cogta report said the status of the various property deals is as follows:

• Property at Shallcross — sold for R900 000. This transaction came to Cogta’s attention when the purchaser attempted to evict the eThekwini municipality that was using the property. Cogta intervened and opposed the eviction. It also applied to set aside the sale.

• R775 000 has been recovered and the illegal sale of two properties in Waterfall, Ethekwini, has been reversed.

• The fraudulent sale of a R350 000 property in Glen Anil, Durban, has been cancelled. The prospective purchaser claimed the department was liable for certain costs she incurred as a result of the sale. Cogta declined to pay the costs.

•There is currently an application in court to set aside the fraudulent sale of 10 properties in the KwaDukuza municipality. Dube illegally sold these properties for R3,5million.

• nalini@witness.co.za

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