Ezinqoleni missing millions, investigation looms

2018-05-03 06:01

THE deadline for the much anticipated report on R35 million, which was allegedly lost to corruption and irregular spending by the then Ezinqoleni Municipality, has been extended yet again.

The report which was expected to give details on investigations into the missing millions, by the Ray Nkonyeni Local Municipality (RNM)Municipal Public Accounts Committee (MPAC) and Provincial Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) first at the end of March.

The investigation into the Ezinqoleni Municipality were first initiated in August last year from reports that RNM had lost
R35 million to irregular expenditure through alleged acts of misconduct by senior managers during the merger of Eznqoleni Municipality and the Hibiscus Coast Municipality.

Speaking at a media briefing at the RNM. council chambers on Tuesday, RNM Mayor Nomusa Mqwebu said a report from Cogta earlier this month has indicated that the department and the municipality has conducted all “preliminary” work for the investigation. This includes holding interviews with all stakeholders who were part of the process of procurement in relation to the matter under investigation, however, an official report will only be released once the physical verification of the projects under investigation has been concluded.

Municipal manager Max Mbili said the department was reluctant to release a preliminary report in void of supporting evidence. Mbili said that during the investigation’s initial stages, the municipality’s internal auditors sought Cogta’s assistance with the investigations due to the realisation of the magnitude of the case and thus the complexities encountered were not surprising.

Mbili said that the investigations were 80% complete and would be released “soon,” hopefully, before the end of the financial year in June.

It is alleged that just before the merger of the Ezinqoleni and Hibiscus Coast municipalities, a number of construction projects including the construction of a community hall, an access road and a sports field were approved and paid for, but they don’t exist.

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