‘Place municipality under administration’

2018-02-02 06:00
PHOTO: suppliedAlfred Nzo District Municipality deputy mayor Sandile Sello, Municipal Manager Zamile Sikhundla and executive mayor Sixolile Mehlomakhulu address media on Monday over the eight officials who were arrested last week.

PHOTO: suppliedAlfred Nzo District Municipality deputy mayor Sandile Sello, Municipal Manager Zamile Sikhundla and executive mayor Sixolile Mehlomakhulu address media on Monday over the eight officials who were arrested last week.

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KHAYA MAGENU

khaya.magenu@media24.com

ALFRED Nzo District Municipality DA caucus leader Wonga Potwana has called for the Eastern Cape provincial Legislature to place the municipality under administration.

His call came after eight municipal officials appeared in court last week on charges of money laundering, corruption, alleged fraud and contraventions of Municipal Finance Management Act totalling more than R300 million.

The arrests were made by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks). The officials arrested include Luyolo Fokaza, Thembisa Manciya, Mawethu Mtengwana, Sifiso Ntanga, Nkosinathi Gule, Xolani Masiza and former Greater Kokstad Municipality officials Zuko Mani and Miranda Matubatuba. They were all granted R8 000 bail and are due back in court in April pending further investigations.

“As the Democratic Alliance we want to know what kind of disciplinary action will be taken against these officials and we believe there are political hands directed­ by the alleged officials to break the supply chain management policies,” said Potwana.

He appealed to alleged officials to reveal who instructed them to break the law. Addressing media, Alfred Nzo District Municipality mayor Sixolile Mehlomakhulu­ confessed that the municipality­ has been under investigation since March 2017.

“The council welcomed these investigations and committed that all its functionaries and structures will work with the law enforcement agencies during the course of the investigation and briefed its workforce urging it to co-operate with the investigation,” said Mehlomakhulu.

He said in relation to the investigation, there had been no formal notification to the municipality in relation to the outcome of the investigation.

“We learnt through media inquiries that eight employees were arrested last week,” said Mehlomakhulu

He said the alleged officials flouted the procurement processes by irregularly awarding contracts to companies to install water pipes and tanks in Matatiele, Mbizana, Umzimvubu and Cabazana. The suspects allegedly took the tender documents to another province without authority and pretended as if the bid evaluation committee and bid adjudication committee sat to evaluate the tenders.

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