Council was a disaster, says DA

2014-10-01 00:00

FACTIONALISM within the ruling ANC rendered the Mpofana Municipality dysfunctional and while the politicians fought, corruption thrived.

This was how DA councillor Ken Denysschen summed up the situation in Mooi River that ended with the council being dissolved and the municipality being placed under administration.

Denysschen said in addition, political interference, cronyism in the appointment of officials, and people just not doing their jobs added to the meltdown at Mpofana.

He was addressing a public feedback meeting on Monday evening in the Mooi River Town Hall.

He told the gathering about an intern at the municipality who won a major computer tender by altering the name of an existing reputable international company. Denysschen is still trying to ascertain the value of the contract and whether the alleged culprit acted alone or in cahoots with others.

He added that in total 832 items — including computers, cars and cameras bought within the last three years — were written off at the current value of over R1,1 million.

According to Denysschen, land was “sold” to a developer via a tender system, but the advert had yet to be produced substantiating this claim. He said this was in direct conflict with the Municipal Land Alienation Policy where all municipal land must be sold via public auction.

The official responsible allegedly claimed not to be aware of the restrictions in the title deeds as they had “lost” the title deeds and had not thought to request a copy from the Deeds office.

Denysschen said he had written to the administrator, Buhle Ally, asking for investigations into these and other instances of corruption.

The DA councillor went on to say that administratively things fell apart and the budget did not add up. “The 2013/2014 year ended with R8 million loss with employee costs R1 million over budget. Every year the budget shows projected profit and every year there is a loss.”

Denysshen added that in direct contravention of three council resolutions where no work no pay was to be implemented, payment was made, without council’s knowledge or agreement, to striking workers.

“We were told that the reason for the payment was that the cost of bringing in advocates to carry out the dismissal process would have been higher than what was due in salaries. This has now set a precedent and the question remains why was there a need to bring in advocates when the simple instruction was no pay for the days not worked,” he said.

The Witness tried to contact Ally to find out how these and other matters were being dealt with, but was unsuccessful by the time of going to press.

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