Probe into eThekwini a wake-up call - mayor

2012-02-08 18:12

Durban - The findings of a forensic investigation in the eThekwini municipality came as a wake-up call, Mayor James Nxumalo said on Wednesday.

"It is a wake-up call for us to arrest toxic practices that seemed to characterise the behaviour of our officials and councillors," Nxumalo told reporters in Durban.

The investigation, commissioned by the provincial department of co-operative governance, found high levels of maladministration and corruption.

It has fingered officials, including former municipal manager Mike Sutcliffe and former mayor Obed Mlaba.

Nxumalo said: "If we address these loopholes within our systems governance the municipality could be on its way to achieving a clean audit before 2014."

Nxumalo said the city was determined to root out the maladministration.

An auditing firm was appointed early last year to investigate fraud, corruption, and maladministration allegations in eThekwini municipality.

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 irregular expenditure in the past three years amounted to R2.2bn.

The investigation found the municipality had failed to comply with supply chain management processes for infrastructure and housing projects. Nxumalo said his executive committee would meet on Tuesday to discuss the report and determine how various issues raised would be responded to.

"Part of this process will also entail interfacing with the authors of the report to solicit their input in terms of the issues raised," he said.

"We are dealing with the process. There’s no way we can deal with the matter overnight in a manner that will satisfy everybody."

He said those found guilty of corruption and maladministration would be dealt with by the law.

"There are many good things we have done as a municipality, but the report indicates that there are wrongdoings taking place. It gives us space to come up with corrective measures."

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