THE mayor of Umzimkhulu Local Municipality, Mphuthimi Mpabanga criticised those who criticised the municipality, calling it corrupt. At the funeral service of slain Umzimkhulu councillor and former ANCYL secretary general, Sindiso Magaqa in Ibisi a few weeks ago, some speakers said Magaqa was killed for attempting to expose corruption involving a hall that is under construction in Umzimkhulu, but according to Mpabanga this is not true.The historic hall that is being refurbished was built in 1902.According to the municipality, a feasibility study was conducted for the hall and additional structures to be added, including a coffee shop and a fitness centre. The project was then estimated it would cost R22 million to complete.The previous contractor was stopped from continuing with the project last year after performing poorly. Mpabanga said R17 million has already been spent on the project, and it is now 50% complete.Mpabanga said who say the municipality has spent more than R37 million on the hall are not telling the truth. He said people are fulfilling their political ambitions by saying there is corruption in the municipality, which is also not true.“When the Auditor-General came to the municipality for 2015/2016 financial year report, findings established no financial irregularities in the construction of the hall and the municipality, and it has received unqualified audit outcomes,” said Mpabanga. He said some people in the Harry Gwala region are tarnishing the image and leadership of the municipality by spreading lies at public gatherings, which is unacceptable. He said the municipality has received several awards for good performance, which deserve to be celebrated.After Magaqa’s death last month, Mpabanga and some ANC regional leaders were refused entry to Magaqa’s home by community members. The community showed up at the house with placards reading“Maqaga was killed for a hall”.