More arrests soon in R12-million uThukela water scam

2012-12-03 00:00

THE chief financial officer of the uThukela District Municipality appeared in the Ladysmith Magistrate’s Court on Friday and was granted bail of R10 000.

Nathi Madondo’s arrest and subsequent court appearance was linked to a forensic investigation commissioned by Co-operative Governance MEC, Nomusa Dube. The investigation has already resulted in several people appearing in court, including former uThukela mayor Stanley Dladla.

Dladla appeared with service provider Jeetendra Singh, who allegedly defrauded the municipality of millions of rand, and others.

They are also currently out on bail and their trial is expected to resume in March next year.

Madondo is alleged to have accepted gifts worth about R135 000 from Singh. The nature of the gifts is not disclosed in the charge sheet.

According to sources, the charges are related to a water scam and other irregularities in the water services unit at the municipality.

Co-operative Governance spokesperson Lennox Mabaso said more arrests in connection with charges of corruption, maladministration, fraud and other irregularities were imminent. In May, The Witness reported that uThukela officials had bled the municipality of R12 million in the water scam.

This involved officials prioritising the use of water tankers to deliver water to people, despite there being sufficient water in the Woodstock Dam to meet needs.

The department said it had already recovered R4 million taken in the scam, which was paid back to the municipality in terms of a plea bargain agreement.

Dube said she was determined to recover the outstanding money and to find the culprits.

“We’re confident that the latest arrest will assist us with additional information, which will help in securing further recoveries.”

DA local government spokesperson, George Mari welcomed Madondo’s arrest.

He said uThukela was beset by many problems, including management issues. “We welcome the arrest because we want to see people who are corrupt being brought to book,” Mari said.

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