Manase report: DA call for action

2012-02-16 00:00

THE entire damning Manase forensic report into maladministration in the eThekwini metro must be made public. If it isn’t, the DA will use “every legal resource” at its disposal to get to the truth and to bring the guilty to book, the party announced.

The DA has called for:

• The immediate suspension of councillors and officials fingered in the report for fraud or tender rigging pending the outcome of a full investigation.

• A separate commission of inquiry with powers to subpoena third parties to determine how metro police cadets were allowed to purchase fake licences.

• A full commission of inquiry into R485 million already spent on the city’s revenue management system, started in 2004, which is still not operational.

At a special media briefing yesterday morning at the Durban City Hall, the DA threw down the gauntlet — demanding that the ANC make public the explosive report which cites gross financial irregularities, fraud and corruption involving those tasked with running the city.

The allegations, which if proved correct, may have cost the city millions of rands in lost and wasted revenue and impacted severely on service delivery.

Briefing the media yesterday on what the DA intends to do if the full report is not forthcoming were DA eThekwini chief whip Dean Macpherson, KZN DA spokesperson for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) George Mari, DA eThekwini caucus leader Tex Collins and DA eThekwini spokesperson Mbali Ntuli.

Collins said Mayor James Nxumalo needs to take the people of Durban into his confidence as such a move would restore confidence in the municipality.

If the document is not made available, the DA intends to launch a promotion of access to information act application, both through the provincial Legislature and through the eThekwini Municipality. “Once we have this information,” said Macpherson, “we will release it immediately.”

The Manase forensic report, released last week by Manase and Associates, fingered a number of high profile eThekwini municipal officials and politicians, including former municipal manager Mike Sutcliffe and former mayor Obed Mlaba.

However, apart from a summary appraisal, the 700-page document, contained in three large files, remains firmly under wraps.

“It is the ratepayers after all who paid for the report. Surely they should be entitled to know what the full findings are and what and who has brought this city to this low point,” said Macpherson

The party further warns that if secrecy and bad practice persist in the corridors of power, the City of Durban could find itself on “a slippery slope” and facing ruin “in a very short time”.

Among the DA’s points of concern are that Cogta MEC Nomusa Dube discussed the findings with those mentioned in the report before the report was officially released.

“Why should there have been a need for a private meeting first?” asked Macpherson. “This is not about being transparent. This is about attempts to keep things away from the public. We cannot afford a situation where yet another damning report is shoved under the carpet.”

Although the details are not known, the report found widespread irregularities involving mainly the contravention of proper tender procedures, a paucity of financial and budget controls, councillors and employees engaged in business deals with the municipality, and the flouting of overtime rules.


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