'Third force' behind office fire - MEC

2012-02-02 14:12

Durban - It was likely the Umkhanyakude district municipal offices in Mkuze, KwaZulu-Natal were deliberately torched on Thursday to destroy evidence, authorities said.

"A third force element is strongly suspected to be behind the burning of Umkhanyakude district municipal offices," co-operative governance MEC Nomusa Dube said.

The northern KwaZulu-Natal municipality's five finance department offices were completely destroyed by fire that broke out in the early hours of Thursday.

She said the fire coincided with a probe into maladministration and financial mismanagement which had left the municipality bankrupt.


"Under these circumstances we cannot rule out an element of desperation by those who may be exposed and their desire to conceal evidence that may incriminate them."

It was not far-fetched to think there was a third force behind the burning of offices, she said, adding that the municipality was being investigated by her department and a team appointed by mayor Jeff Vilane. The municipal manager and chief financial officer were suspended when the investigation started a few months ago.

The probe would not be affected because the investigators already had most of the evidence, the MEC said.

"If this was an attempt to sabotage the investigation, it has already failed. We have most of the evidence in the form of various report including the Auditor General and whistleblowers."

Dube said the Umkhanyakude district municipality was the only one in KwaZulu-Natal that received an adverse report from the AG for the 2010/2011 financial year.

Vilane said the fire started around 02:00. He felt it took too long for firefighters to arrive.

"We are very unhappy that it took too long for them to respond. Rural metro offices are not far from our municipal building."

- Were you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts and photos.

  • ludlowdj - 2012-02-02 14:21

    "Third Force" is that the new name for corrupt officials. Lets face it the fire was started by or on behalf of the ANC members accused of mismanagement. There is no Third Force.

      procold2 - 2012-02-02 14:32

      blame it on PW Botha, Jan Voster or the old regime but please never blame it on the corrupt officials that have the most to gain here.

      Albert - 2012-02-02 15:06

      And this fart comes from an MEC.Wow!!!!

      Ian - 2012-02-02 15:13

      Eish baba, the 'Thed foss' was always the apartheid mhlungu. Manje????

      Jeffrey - 2012-02-02 15:41

      It's a Third Force only because these offficals can't count further than three.

      Jeffrey - 2012-02-02 15:43

      And the whistlebloweres will end up jobless, if not in prison.

      Willie - 2012-02-02 16:16

      MEC tell us about 1st and second forces

      Jou - 2012-02-02 18:58

      I think it's National Party covert operatives. I would question PW Botha.

  • Lionel - 2012-02-02 14:38

    What a load of BS

  • ruben.maistry - 2012-02-02 14:38

    The perpetrators must be brought to book and hefty jail sentences PLUS a fine must be served on them i.e if the ANC is serious about getting it's house in order. I hope they do not cover up this incident and learn to nominate HONEST and FIT FOR PURPOSE staff instead of comrades. It is TIME the honest TAX PAYERS hold the ruling party accountable.

  • The-third - 2012-02-02 14:40

    I AM EVERYWHERE. Muhahahaha.

      Andre Viljoen Joubert - 2012-02-02 15:56

      @the third. Ha ha ha ha ha. And three times funnier.

      Jou - 2012-02-02 18:58

      Too funny ;-)

  • fanus.kriel - 2012-02-02 14:56

    No third force, it's THE TOKKOLOZ

  • Deon - 2012-02-02 14:59

    Rather the first force that is under suspicion.

  • Mike - 2012-02-02 15:23

    Third force? Fourfathers? At least we are making progress in maths in this country!!

  • Gavin - 2012-02-02 15:33

    Ad on bidorbuy - for sale, one ANC invisible friend.

  • Andre - 2012-02-02 15:39

    Arson and stone throwing is a common pastime to many. Why a third force?

  • Gary - 2012-02-02 15:50

    bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha - the egyptians and anc sitting in a tree.....

  • Daemon - 2012-02-02 15:53

    LOL, Must be 32 Battalion...up to their mischief again.

  • Perfume5 - 2012-02-02 16:03


  • ISO - 2012-02-02 16:48

    FIRE the lot!

  • ISO - 2012-02-02 16:57

    The third force is nothing more than the delta force - go in and destroy!Could it be Chuck? Dont worry Luke "The Third Force" will be with you.

  • Ben Nel - 2012-02-02 17:11

    Who are the other two forces?

  • Craig - 2012-02-02 17:49

    Duh... try that "Spin" on some other planet would you, 'cos we not buying any of it here in sunny South Africa.

  • berni.venter - 2012-02-02 18:01

    Third force with their fingers in the cookie jar methinks...

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