City manager misses graft report deadline

2012-07-31 18:33
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Durban - EThekwini city manager Sbu Sithole has failed to meet a deadline for the release of a full forensic report on fraud and corruption, the municipality said on Tuesday.

"We will hold a press briefing on Wednesday to address matters relating to the forensic report," said municipal spokesperson Thabo Mofokeng.

An abridged version of the report was released by KwaZulu-Natal Co-operative Governance MEC Nomusa Dube in February.

The city was supposed to release the full contents of the report to political parties on 16 July and to the public on Tuesday.

The Democratic Alliance and the National Freedom Party walked out of a closed, full council meeting on Monday where Sithole was to have discussed the report.

"The Democratic Alliance has made it clear that the party will play no part in any deliberations concerning the Manase report which are held in secret, as this particularly prevents any cogent decision being made by party members about any individual named in the report without a complete discovery," DA caucus leader Tex Collins said in a statement.

He said the rights of the people to know the truth had been curtailed by Sithole's refusal to release the full and complete report in the mistaken belief that he was protecting those it named.

"It was on this basis that the members of the Democratic Alliance caucus left the meeting refusing to play any further part of a process regarded as flawed and contrary to... any transparent and democratic system of governance," Collins said.

NFP councillor Bongiwe Mtshali told the Mercury her party walked out of the meeting because it no longer wanted to be party to Sithole's "cover up".

"It now appears as if there are individuals who are being protected," she said.

The probe was instituted after Auditor General Terence Nombembe said in his 2009/10 report that R532m had been irregularly spent by the municipality.

The investigation also contained accusations against a number of senior officials.

It found that 10 councillors had business interests with entities which conducted business with the eThekwini Municipality.

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