Calls to probe deputy mayor

2018-07-25 15:45
 Msunduzi Deputy Mayor Thobani Zuma.

Msunduzi Deputy Mayor Thobani Zuma. (File)

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The DA and some ANC activists say they want Msunduzi Deputy Mayor Thobani Zuma to be probed for allegations of corruption along with City boss Sizwe Hadebe.

This comes after council resolved on Monday to place Hadebe on precautionary suspension pending an inquiry into the alleged contravention of municipal policies.

The investigation includes the first audio clip that went viral in April where a man believed to be Hadebe gives instruction to his subordinate to manipulate interview scores and tender processes.

The investigator, Sthembele Mhlanga, will also probe the claims of malfeasance made by the senior managers who wrote to the provincial and national departments of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) asking for intervention.

DA caucus leader Sibongiseni Majola said on Tuesday: “The deputy mayor is implicated in the voice clip because the “political instruction” to change the interview scores is said to have come from him. I’m not defending Hadebe, but it’s only fair that the people he colluded with also face the music.”

Majola said the second clip on the alleged irregular appointment of former DA councillor Clive Lotz also features a voice believed to be Zuma’s. He said it is obvious that Zuma is the one who makes the firing and hiring decisions even though councillors should not be interfering with administrative processes.

“We want an investigation that will also look into how many other appointments he has influenced,” said Majola.

Former ANC councillor Sbusiso Mkhize said the decision to suspend Hadebe has restored hope in the people of Msunduzi that corruption is not being tolerated.

“But we can’t rest until Thobani is investigated because we believe he is the one who is calling the shots behind the scenes, so to remove Hadebe is pointless if Thobani is still there,” said Mkhize.

Mkhize is amongst the ANC activists who led the February anti-corruption march to the city hall and follow-up pickets at the ANC’s regional office.

“Msunduzi residents are being robbed by corrupt individuals of the services that are rightfully due to them and that needs to stop,” he said.

When contacted, Zuma declined to comment, saying he is not authorised to make media statements about municipal matters.

Attempts to get comments from Hadebe were also unsuccessful.

The Witness learnt through reliable sources that he had not been served with the letter on the council resolution on Tuesday. Once served, he will have seven days to give reasons why he should not be suspended.

Msunduzi 'yet to brief Cogta'

KwaZulu-Natal Cogta spokesperson Lennox Mabaso said they have taken note of the council resolution on Hadebe from the media reports, however, the municipality is yet to officially brief MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube.

“The MEC will then make an assessment to ensure that the council decision is in accordance with the rule of law and the reasons given are solid,” he said.

Mabaso said Cogta’s own forensic investigation into allegations of poor governance and maladministration across Msunduzi is in its final stages.

He rejected the allegations that Cogta has turned a blind eye to the problems in Msunduzi, saying before intervening, the department has to first support and capacitate the municipality to deal with its problems internally

Read more on:    msunduzi municipality  |  pietermaritzburg

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