77 Mbombela officials face suspension for corruption

2017-01-22 06:10
(iStock)

(iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The City of Mbombela is gearing up for a massive clean-up of corrupt officials who were involved in fruitless and irregular expenditure of R755 million over the past two financial years.

City manager Noko Seanego has handed out letters to 77 officials across several departments demanding they explain their role in various tender improprieties highlighted in reports by the Auditor-General, but no one has been suspended yet.

This unprecedented action, said a councillor and two officials, was sparked by complaints whistle-blowers lodged with the Mpumalanga department of co-operative governance and traditional affairs over massive corruption in the municipality.

ANC-led Mbombela follows the Tshwane and Johannesburg metros where DA mayors Solly Msimanga and Herman Mashaba have been digging up dirt allegedly left behind by previous ANC-led governments.

Msimanga revived the metro’s anti-corruption unit and laid charges based on forensic reports that the ANC did not follow up on.

Mashaba has done the same, suspending 15 municipal workers last week for fraud and corruption valued at R14.7m in the city’s licensing department.

Mbombela spokesperson Joseph Ngala said the letters were handed to all suspects, from junior to senior management.

“The officials have not been charged yet. The letters serve to solicit more information and give the officials a chance to defend themselves,” Ngala said.

“These letters seek to find out why, for example, officials deviated from supply chain procedures by requesting quotations instead of advertising tenders for competitive bidding processes to take place. What is being done is standard procedure.”

Three offices

Details about the exact allegations have been kept under wraps, but three insiders told City Press that some of the allegations involved the following:

. Contractors were paid for installing and maintaining streets lights in settlements where there was none.

. A payment was made to a contractor for replacing 500 prepaid electricity meters, but no job was done.

. A contractor was paid for drilling 300 boreholes, but only four were found on site.

. Contracts were extended irregularly.

“There are 13 top executives fingered and who have been given the letters in the finance, supply chain, water and fleet management departments,” one insider said.

In addition, after this process began, the office of the city’s speaker, Mandla Msibi, was broken into last Sunday night.

Two laptops, two memory sticks and a notepad were stolen.

“I don’t want to point any fingers here, but how can this person pass three offices with computers and go straight to mine?” Msibi asked.

The municipal building has 24-hour security.

Msibi said it appeared that the intruder entered his office through the door and then broke a window from inside. He declined to reveal further information for fear of jeopardising the police investigation.

City Press understands that a power struggle has erupted among the council’s politicians and Msibi has been targeted for being firm on corruption.

Msibi has also been seen as a threat for his closeness to premier David Mabuza who convinced him not to stand as an independent candidate in the last local government elections and ensured he was co-opted to the ANC provincial executive committee.

Other sources claim the investigation is a smokescreen, not targeting officials as such, but seeking to link and taint certain councillors to diminish their chances of election in the ANC’s Ehlanzeni regional conference scheduled for March.

Read more on:    herman mashaba  |  solly msimanga  |  mbombela  |  corruption

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.