Millions recovered

2010-04-15 00:00

MORE than R8,7 million embezzled from 13 provincial municipalities by corrupt senior officials has been recovered, Co-operative Governance MEC Nomusa Dube revealed in her first budget speech yesterday.

She said criminal charges have been laid against 28 officials and councillors accused of reckless financial mismanagement.

More than R50 million is believed to have been siphoned from various provincial and municipal coffers, and Dube has resolved that the money will be recovered.

On the Msunduzi Municipality, Dube said she is confident that administrator Johann Mettler is making progress.

“We are nowhere near to dealing with the challenges, but it is the commitment of the newly appointed leadership and all other parties that gives us hope. The co-operation and support we have received from the unions has assisted us a lot in getting to the bottom of the problems.”

She said investigations regarding the near collapse of the municipality are still under way and efforts are still being made to recover R2,1 million from Msunduzi officials.

Msunduzi is one of four provincial municipalities that have been placed under administration, she said. Dube said she discovered that, in some instances, once municipal officials were investigated, they resigned.

“We’ll hold their pensions until such a time that their cases are over because, if we don’t, they’ll disappear and we won’t be able to trace them,” she said.

In addition, Dube made the following points:

• A former uThukela District chief financial officer faces theft charges;

• The NPA is handling the case of an Umvoti credit controller facing charges in the irregular sale in execution of a property;

• Charges are being prepared against three senior uMngeni managers;

• More than R700 000 has been withheld from the pension fund of the former Dannhauser chief finance officer, following his dismissal over the unlawful appointment of a municipal manager; and

• Three officials and a councillor face criminal cases, while a senior manager was suspended for fraud — although he resigned before his disciplinary hearing.

Dube said a sum of R2,6 million had been recovered from the Umkhanyakude District, and an additional R3,5 million will be recovered pending asset forfeiture and a criminal case.

“These are nothing less than focused efforts to promote clean governance. We are determined to ensure that this critical sphere of our governance is in a position where it can effectively and efficiently provide much-needed service to our people. The message is clear: surrender, criminal, you are surrounded,” said Dube.

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