DA KZN calls for suspension of Cogta MEC over 'massive corruption'

2018-06-06 15:18
Nomusa Dube-Ncube. (Jabulani Langa, Foto24)

Nomusa Dube-Ncube. (Jabulani Langa, Foto24)

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KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) cooperative governance and traditional affairs MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube should be immediately suspended because of her alleged involvement in "massive corruption" in the Nkandla and Mthonjaneni municipalities, the DA said on Wednesday.

DA KZN leader Zwakele Mncwango alleged that Dube-Ncube's husband Sibusiso Ncube's company Brand Partners had been awarded a R7.7m communications tender in the Nkandla municipality. He said the tender was not advertised.

"It was also not budgeted for. There was also a capable communications officer in this role at the time," said Mncwango.

He said the second corruption claim against Dube-Ncube related to the appointment of Nkandla municipal manager Langelihle Jili.

READ: KZN AG halts eThekwini Metro audit following 'death threats', recalls all staff

He said in a letter dated March 2017 – which News24 has seen – Dube-Ncube had indicated that Jili's appointment was not in compliance with legislation for a number of reasons, one of which was the fact that he was not qualified for the position.

"In an apparent about-turn by the MEC, the MM (municipal manager) was then appointed and according to documents obtained by the DA, in August 2017, Brand Partners was awarded the contract for communications services to the municipality," he said.

He said there was also evidence that tender processes were not followed in the Mthonjaneni municipality where Brand Partners was again appointed for a series of contracts for communication and other related services worth R8.2m.

Seven-day deadline for premier

"The fourth matter also relates to the appointment of the municipal manager in that municipality – who was allegedly also appointed despite not meeting the requirements for the position – and who would have authorised the said communications contract with Brand Partners," he said.

He said while the DA had long been aware of wide-scale corruption in KZN municipalities, "the fact that the MEC herself is now at the centre of such a corruption scandal is unprecedented".

"Local government is the backbone of service delivery."

READ: Former KZN premier outlines 'processes of corruption' in local ANC structures

Mncwango said the DA in the province had written to KZN Premier Willies Mchunu asking him to immediately suspend Dube-Ncube pending the outcome of an inquiry into her alleged involvement in these matters.

He said the party had given Mchunu seven days to act against Dube-Ncube.

"In the event that he fails to do so, the DA will move a motion of no confidence against him in the KZN legislature," Mncwango said.

Dube-Ncube's spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said Dube-Ncube would hold an urgent media briefing in Pietermaritzburg later on Wednesday to respond to the DA's allegations.

Dube-Ncube told journalists at the briefing that: "We note with concern, anger and disbelief, the relentless efforts to drag my name and that of the department into the private affairs of my husband, who is a long-standing and reputable businessman. This is deliberately concocted in order to create an impression in the public mind that there are mischievous dealings on my part which has facilitated the awarding of the contracts in some municipalities."

She said she would like to state for the record that “any allegations of corruption or irregularities are viewed in a serious light and must be investigated without fear or favour and regardless of who is involved and if wrongdoing is proven, appropriate actions and sanctions should be taken."

She accused the DA of "dishing out nothing but a rapid repackaging of largely unchecked second-hand material.
"Much of it designed to serve the political interests of those who provided it to them and play to the gallery on the eve of the ANC elective conference," she said.

The KZN elective conference takes place this weekend.

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