No punishment after eThekwini audit - DA

2013-06-07 08:27
Durban City Hall

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Durban - No eThekwini councillors have ever been punished as a result of the findings of a forensic audit report, the DA said on Thursday.

Neither had any councillor been brought before the metro's ethics committee, said Dean Macpherson, its spokesperson and one of two Democratic Alliance councillors on the 10-member committee.

Of 10 councillors found to be doing business with the municipality, three had been fined, KwaZulu-Natal co-operative governance and traditional affairs MEC Nomusa Dube said on Tuesday in releasing a report on the recommendations contained in the 700-page audit report compiled by Manase and Associates.

All 10, some of whom were no longer councillors and some of whom had since died, were African National Congress members. The council's chief whip Stanley Xulu was fined R195 000; Senzakhona Shange R18 187; and Nondumiso Cele R8 248.

Macpherson maintained that the fines were the result of findings in the Auditor General's (AG) 2009/10 report on eThekwini, and not the Manase report.

'Outright lie'

"It is disingenuous and an outright lie that any councillor has been sanctioned as a result of [the] Manase [report], and for as long as the report remains hidden from the public, the ethics committee will be unable to take any action against those councillors implicated in the report," he said.

However, eThekwini municipal spokesperson Thabo Mofokeng said: "The findings of the Manase report in respect of the councillors was based on what had been found by the AG."

He said Dube's report had included the action taken by the ethics committee, as this had addressed the concerns raised in the Manase report.

"For us, there really is no issue here. The fact of the matter is that the transgressions have been dealt with," he said.

Calls to Xulu and Cele went unanswered.

The ethics committee was formed following recommendations by the AG.

Previously, the council's speaker dealt with issues involving ethics and the code of conduct of councillors.

Current speaker Logie Naidoo confirmed that he had referred matters from the 2009/10 audit report to the ethics committee.

"I think the [councillors'] names are in both reports," he said.

Opposition parties have accused the government of wanting to keep the Manase report under wraps, but the government and the ANC have argued that ongoing investigations could be jeopardised by making the full report public.

On Tuesday, Dube said anybody who wanted the report could make an application to her department under the Promotion of Access to Information Act.

Until now, councillors who have wanted to see the report have had to sign a confidentiality clause barring them from going public with any of its contents.

"The findings of the Manase report in respect of the councillors was based on what had been found by the AG." He said the MEC's report had included the actions taken by the ethics committee as this had addressed the concerns raised in the Manase report "For us there really is no issue here. The fact of the matter is that the transgressions have been dealt with," he said.

- SAPA
Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  durban  |  local government  |  politics
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