Graft probe talks begin

2012-02-15 00:00

THE eThekwini Metro executive committee began behind-closed-doors discussions yesterday about how to deal with the officials and councillors implicated in corruption and maladministration by an audit report into its administration.

The audit was commissioned by Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Nomusa Dube.

Mayor James Nxumalo asked the media to leave the Exco chambers for the discussion on the report by auditors Manase and Associates into allegations of maladministration and corruption in the 2010/2011 financial year, in which the city racked up irregular expenditure to the tune of R480 million.

The report, tabled in full council last Monday, implicates former city manager Mike Sutcliffe and former mayor Obed Mlaba in acts of maladministration and names more than 180 councillors and city officials as being involved in companies doing business with the city. It cites the bid adjudication committee and several deputy city managers as being responsible for irregular spending across several departments.

The city has 21 days to respond to Dube on how it will implement the report and what action will be taken against those responsible for corruption or maladministration, and a further three months to implement.

Nxumalo said the report dealt with “sensitive’’ matters and should be discussed in private by Exco as this was the first time the committee members would see its contents. He said the report would be made public eventually.

DA councillor Tex Collins argued that the report was too important to be discussed behind closed doors and that ratepayers and the media had a right to view its contents.

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