DA calls for speed in ANC rally funding investigation

2009-10-26 00:00

THE Democratic Alliance has called for the speeding up of the investigation into allegations Msunduzi Municipality funded an ANC rally earlier this year to the tune of more than R1 million.

The DA also wants the findings of the forensic investigation instituted by former Local Government MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu in 2007 and the Scorpions investigation into the municipality around the same time to be released.

Speaking after the appearance of the municipality in front of the provincial finance committee on Friday, DA caucus leader in the legislature, John Steenhuisen, said the “dragging out” of the investigations may hamper criminal charges being levelled against implicated council officials as evidence may get lost.

It is alleged council funded the ANC rally to the tune of R1 067 119, under the pretence of holding an “Inkosi Mlaba Cultural Day” on January 18.

Willies Mchunu, who was Local Government MEC at the time the allegation was made, appointed an independent investigator to probe the allegations.

Steenhuisen said other forensic investigations into the municipality have taken too long, adding that apart from the stalling of the findings, Msunduzi Municipality is a council in crisis with faction fighting.

The finance committee members also asked why 18 Msunduzi councillors have not declared their business interests.

Answering questions regarding the forensic reports, municipal manager Rob Haswell said the findings are not hidden and that there are serious charges against some managers, adding that they will be brought to book soon. Mayor Zanele Hlatshwayo said the council has submitted documents to the rally investigator and the probe will resume soon.

Hlatshwayo said some of the councillors who have not declared their business interests are not business owners and therefore did not see the need to declare. The Mayor was tasked to be stringent in ensuring that all councillors, whether they own businesses or not, declare as required by the legislation.

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