Graft report: Officials take secrecy oath

2012-10-23 17:41

Durban - Durban councillors may view a full, controversial, 700-page forensic audit forensic report on fraud and corruption, but only after being sworn to secrecy, the KwaZulu-Natal government said on Tuesday.

"Any councillor who wants to see the 700-[page] report can do so, but [has] to sign the confidentiality clause," said KwaZulu-Natal provincial co-operative governance and traditional affairs spokesperson Lennox Mabaso.

He said the councillors were "at liberty to divulge details, but face consequences".

Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille said at the weekend the full report should be released.

Mabaso accused DA councillors of misleading Zille.

There was no issue about access to the report, but rather the conditions of access to the report, he said.

"A responsible state would guard against infringing on the rights of individuals, because if it acts recklessly just to make headlines, you may have culprits who transgressed and deserve to be sanctioned walking free."

Mabaso said the full report was tabled before the full council of the eThekwini municipality.

However, DA eThekwini leader Tex Collins said an abridged version had been presented to council.

As a member of the municipality’s 12-member executive committee (exco), Collins said he had seen the report.

"What’s the point [of seeing the report] if we cannot divulge it, even to our own caucus members?" he asked.

Minority Front councillor Patrick Pillay said exco members had access to the report for a "couple of hours" after signing the confidentiality agreement.

There was insufficient time to go through the document, he said.

The Inkatha Freedom Party’s eThekwini caucus leader, Mdu Nkosi, said a power-point presentation was made to the full council, but that he had not seen a hard copy of the report. He is not a member of the exco.

The forensic audit by Manase and Associates was instituted after Auditor General Terence Nombembe said in his 2009/10 report that the municipality had irregularly spent R532m. Accusations against a number of senior officials were made.

According to Nombembe's report, 10 councillors had business interests with entities conducting business with the eThekwini municipality.

The African National Congress has backed the decision not to make the full report public.

ANC Durban chairperson Sibongiseni Dhlomo said in August that releasing it would be unfair to the parties involved and would endanger the interests of the municipality.

An abridged version of the report was released by KwaZulu-Natal Co-operative Governance MEC Nomusa Dube in February. The city was supposed to release the full contents in July.

However, on 1 August, Mayor James Nxumalo said the full report would not be released. He also cited prejudice to those involved.

Nxumalo said the municipality was hoping to make the full report public by the end of December, when all disciplinary process had been completed.

EThekwini municipal spokesperson Thabo Mofokeng said councillors could see the full report, but would have to sign a confidentiality clause - a copy of which could not be obtained.

  • tim.gordon.5011516 - 2012-10-23 17:50

    The fact that there is a cover up in my mind seals their guilt - rightly or wrongly.

      lsfreak - 2012-10-23 18:02

      They are caught still in the cookie jar that's why. Isn't this a public office or have we become a communist state already...

      ChristelleJames - 2012-10-23 18:08

      "A responsible state would guard against infringing on the rights of individuals, because if it acts recklessly just to make headlines, you may have culprits who transgressed and deserve to be sanctioned walking free." Just have to love that quote from above. And what about the rights of every taxpayer in this country's rights to know how their money is being spent!

      nicholas.graan - 2012-10-23 18:12

      Why is it all such a secret? If this report contains evidence of fraud, surely by forcing people to a secrecy oath is a criminal offence? It is concealment of criminal activity which is a a prosecutable offence.

      fred.murgatroyd - 2012-10-23 18:26

      The anc is learning fast from their heroes Mugabe and the dearly departed Ghadaffi

      george.pistorius - 2012-10-23 18:29

      Why is it a SECRET????

      godfrey.welman - 2012-10-23 18:41

      The ANC has moved from a party fighting for "press freedom" to champions of the "Secrecy Bill" in just 18 years, how sad.

      colin.dovey - 2012-10-23 19:02

      Interesting - no ANC Trolls on this matter?

  • ChristelleJames - 2012-10-23 17:55

    Why the heck would they have to be sworn to secrecy? my gosh, are we dealing with the CIA?

      cathy.dejongh.5 - 2012-10-23 18:16

      Perhaps the BBC or CNN would love a snippet of this 'News' ?

      vermeulenwa - 2012-10-23 18:38

      "Forensic audit forensic report"....wooooh...I bet that report is very forensic....

      sihlangu.hokweni - 2012-10-23 19:51

      Something even worse- the KGB.

  • Gatvol Griet - 2012-10-23 17:56

    What are the guarantees that prosecution will take place when we have a criminal president? Heads must roll...

      godfrey.welman - 2012-10-23 19:48

      Zuma will not act, he needs their (KZN) vote at Mangaung.

      sihlangu.hokweni - 2012-10-23 19:49

      Beginning with that of the Chief Commander- OR should I say COMMANDER IN THIEVERY?

  • patricia.dewet.92 - 2012-10-23 17:58

    The people picking up the tab for the report, have the wright to see it. So all taxpayers. It is so secret that nothing can be done about it, why the report it they are going to drop it into the sea.

  • Gerhard - 2012-10-23 17:59

    So public domain information will not be available to the public?

  • ianthe.exall - 2012-10-23 18:00

    I am an eThekwini ratepayer. My money is being used by the municipality and I have a right to know how it is being used. Why the cover-up?

  • hitting.thefan - 2012-10-23 18:04

    So more of this blatant corruption cover up. What the heck is wrong with this country. No same in there nonsence!

  • terrylee.heuer - 2012-10-23 18:08

    Transparency please Govt work for the people not the other way around millions have gone missing of taxpayers money in the past few years through negligence, corruption, theft and fraud!!!

  • eben.vanderrmerwe - 2012-10-23 18:20

    There is nothing suspicious here...corruption in this country is so blatant that their attitude towards any questioning of any kind are met with conditions of sworn secrecy etc. THEY LIE, THEY CHEAT AND THEY STEAL!!!! It's simple. The more concerning problem is that the citizens of this country will allow this by voting for them. Rotten to the core is what this goverment is.

  • louis.olivier.988 - 2012-10-23 18:26

    Hey ar..hole what about the tax payers and ratepayer. F..k your confidentiality. you are hiding the crooks you dork

  • cathy.dejongh.5 - 2012-10-23 18:26

    Please explain how this is justified - and also, does everyone have to doublespeak to have their comments approved?

  • gary.desousa.7 - 2012-10-23 18:33

    Come on DA-get the promotion of access to information working. It seems thats the only thing both local and national goverment listen to.

  • lacrimose.wolf - 2012-10-23 18:43

    These officials cannot keep their sworn Oath of Office but somehow the govt imagines they'll keep this sworn oath of secrecy

  • jarquesangelique.proudfootdupreez - 2012-10-23 18:44

    Therefore, everyone in government that steels from the people are allowed to see who els steel from the people as long as the people don't know what is stolen from them.. I'm sending my CV..

  • braamc - 2012-10-23 18:51

    Born criminals and thieves

  • mammudi.makgaleng.3 - 2012-10-23 18:54

    What's the use of paying money for forensic audits while you can't publish the reports? Mxm......

      sihlangu.hokweni - 2012-10-23 20:11

      They are afraid that ALL TOP HONCHOS of the cANCer might fall down on their OWN SWORD.All kinds of FRAUDS in KZN ANC-Why do you think both Sihle Zikalala(PSG)

  • SirFGrumpy - 2012-10-23 19:06

    Absolutely guilty, there is no doubt about it. Only guilty people try to deny exposure to documents. I strongly urge the citizens of the Durban Metro to institute a tax and service payment boycott until the report is released in full. The ANC in Durban and the rest of South Africa is just so corrupt it is diabolical.

  • sihlangu.hokweni - 2012-10-23 19:07

    Is this draconian SECRECY BILL already operational? A few days ago it were lawyers of OUTA Lawyers who had to sign secrecy OATHS before they could be shown DETAILS OF COST FACTORS in relation to e-tolling.Now even OUTCOMES OF INQUIRIES TO GRAFT? What's become of SOUTH AFRICA? If citizens do not wake up! soon the 'ROOI GEVAAR' will be a REALITY.

  • Zahir - 2012-10-23 19:52

    all crooks the only difference is they cover up their lies and theft keep voters stupid

  • charl.malan.12 - 2012-10-23 20:01

    Can you imagine how many names involved in corruption are in that 700 page report? They will have to fire everyone! I'm mindblown by how nonchalant they are in keeping it private, like its their right and who the f@ck are we to question them! Piss off already ANC, you are a waste of everything that is good in this country!

  • tian.reyneke - 2012-10-23 20:33

    Does anyone here REALLY think anyone in the anc typed this report..... Corrupt tender went out a company got paid 50 mil to type it all the bucks went back into the guys pockets thats in the report xD loooool

  • Erna - 2012-10-23 20:40

    How can the anc not realise that the more they hide the more suspicious the rest of us become. The only people they are protecting are the anc criminals involved; same way they protected zuma all those years ago. And the sad thing is we allow it to happen!

  • andrew.mackie.90 - 2012-10-24 07:13

    The question arises was the money that was irregularly spent collected from the taxpayer? Which is obviously the case therefore why must this be hidden from the very people who contributed by means of rates and taxes. Where is the transparency in governance?

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