MEC followed all processes

2010-10-09 14:57

I would like to respond to the article “MEC in battle for BEE shares” (September 24).

This article sought to portray a negative picture of the ­investigations which were ­conducted into the Emalahleni Local Municipality.

Norman Mokoena had an ­interest in the company Leopont 541 Pty Ltd in 2006, long before he became the member of the executive ­council (MEC) for the cooperative governance and traditional affairs department.

Mokoena became MEC in May last year.

The current administration had hardly been in office for two months when the province was marred by service-delivery ­protests.

One of the municipalities that experienced service-delivery protests was Emalahleni.

Complaints and allegations of maladministration, fraud, corruption, and poor service delivery – which includes matters like potholes, quality of water and lack of interim basic services in ­informal settlements – were ­levelled against the municipality.

The law requires that when an MEC receives any serious allegations of corruption, maladministration or any wrong-doing in a municipality, he must investigate them.

Mokoena asked the ­municipality to respond to the allegations.

The MEC was not satisfied with the response and he ­decided to launch a full-scale investigation.

Deloitte & Touche was ­appointed to conduct the ­investigation.

Mokoena tabled the report to the Emalahleni council for them to act on the recommendations.

The municipality agreed with the report and the municipal manager was suspended with immediate effect on 17 charges and disciplinary action was ­also instituted against him.

Action was taken against all other individuals implicated and those cases that warranted further action were handed over to law enforcement ­agencies.

We would like to refute the impression that the MEC had anything to do with charging the municipal manager.

That task fell to the municipality.

It is also not true that the section 106 investigation was instituted because of the said allegations.

There are processes and ­procedures that are followed when instituting an investigation in terms of section 106 of the Local Government Municipal Systems Act.

In Emalahleni all the required processes were followed.

Therefore, to suggest that such an investigation in Emalahleni Local Municipality was done in collusion to settle private matters is to distort the facts.

The department under the leadership of Mokoena will not be deterred nor be blackmailed from investigating all allegations of corruption and any wrongdoing bought to its ­attention.

» Kunene is head of communications for the department of cooperative ­governance and traditional affairs in Mpumalanga

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