Ngcobo earns a reprieve

2014-03-29 00:00

SPEAKER of the Harry Gwala District Municipality who blew the whistle on his party members, alleging that they went on property buying sprees using council money, faced suspension from his council yesterday.

However, Speaker Mandla Ngcobo, whose allegations were aired in the Mail and Guardian on February 21, earned a reprieve. A full council meeting decided not to discuss the issue and instead referred it to the Municipal Public Accounts Committee (MPAC).

According to sources within the municipality, this matter has its genesis in a power struggle between two factions of the ANC in the Harry Gwala district, one led by Ngcobo — who is the deputy chairperson of the ANC regional executive committee (REC) — and the other by the chairperson of the REC and mayor of the District, Mluleki Ndobe. At the beginning of this year, Ngcobo wrote a letter to the ANC provincial executive committee alleging widespread corruption by his colleagues.

However, this letter was leaked to the Mail and Guardian. At the time, Ngcobo declined to comment to the newspaper and was quoted as saying, “He would not discuss ANC matters with the press.”

But suspicion lingered of Ngcobo’s alleged involvement in the letter reaching the media.

A notice of motion was tabled before the Harry Gwala District council questioning how an internal party letter had ended up in the newspaper.

The motion called for Ngcobo’s suspension. However, the council at its meeting yesterday decided that the letter was an internal party matter and, therefore, should not be discussed in a council sitting. A decision was taken to refer the matter to the Municipal Public Accounts Committee for investigation.

When contacted, Ngcobo declined to comment and Ndobe could not be reached as his phone went to voicemail.

DA KZN Deputy Chairperson Francois Rodgers said his party has taken an interest in Ngcobo’s allegations and would be referring the allegations for investigation by the Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.

Rodgers said that there were certainly issues of poor service delivery in the municipality.

He added that this raised questions on how much of that poor service delivery could be as a result of maladminstration and corruption.

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