Umvoti Council to be probed

2010-09-01 00:00

THE IFP-run Umvoti Council became the latest municipality in the province to be investigated by the KZN MEC for Local Government for fraud, corruption and maladministration.

MEC Nomusa Dube initiated the investigation in terms of Section 106 of the Municipal Sytems Act. This follows the council’s failure to heed the recommendations of an internal inquiry carried out by KPMG that found irregularities in the supply chain system after an outcry over overpriced diaries and calendars last year.

In yet another deal, an amount of R29 640 was paid for the supply of 100 tracksuits to a firm that allegedly was not approved by the Bid Adjudication Committee. The minutes of this meeting, taken by suspended Supply Chain Manager Zakithi Magubane, could not be found. ANC councillors have since called for the suspension of the chief financial officer Sipho Ndabandaba and for Magubane to be disciplined and sued.

The ANC caucus in the municipality has asked for a probe into all procurements since 2006.

Independent consulting engineers are to probe all building and road projects instituted by the Umvoti municipality to find out how tenders were awarded. — Witness Correspondent.

While his municipality is under investigation, Umvoti Mayor Councillor Petros Ngubane, has flown to China on his third trip. Ngubane said the aim was to woo investors to Umvoti just like President Zuma had done for South Africa.

This trip is a repeat of the two previous ones in 2002 and 2009 which Umvoti residents say have so far brought in no investment into the town. Apparently there is talk of the Municipality acting as distributors for a solar power manufacturer in China, but council insiders say this is not labour intensive and is not going to create jobs.

ANC Councillor and businessman Godfrey Mavundla offered to pay for the Mayor’s flight to China in order to save the ratepayers’ money. The offer was made during a council meeting in July and was rejected by the Mayor . The municipality has since paid for two return tickets to China for the Mayor and CFO Sipho Ndabandaba to attend the 1st World Emerging Industries Summit in China . They will also get S and T of 200 American dollars a day(just under R 1500)

Also attending the Summit, but at his own expense is Council Speaker Hitler Maharaj who travelled independently of the Mayoral Party. The Mayor’s personal assistant, Dudu Mabaso, covering her own costs, accompanied him and CFO.

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