eThekwini officials face criminal investigation after release of forensic reports

2018-03-01 21:56
Newly appointed eThekwini Metro municipal manager Sipho Nzuza. (Kaveel Singh, News24)

Newly appointed eThekwini Metro municipal manager Sipho Nzuza. (Kaveel Singh, News24)

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Durban – At least three eThekwini Municipality officials, who have allegedly been implicated in corruption and maladministration allegations, are to be disciplined and subjected to a criminal investigation, city manager Sipho Nzuza said on Thursday.

"I wish to clarify that additional work still has to be done as a number of these corruption allegations will be under criminal investigation, and the municipality will cooperate with various law enforcement agencies that may have vested interest in some of the matters," Nzuza said at a press briefing held at the City Hall.

Nzuza added that he received copies of forensic reports last month from the City Integrity and Investigations Unit (CIIU), headed by Mbuso Ngcobo.

The reports detailed allegations of fraud, corruption and maladministration related to the awarding of two contracts in the municipality.

The contracts were for the manufacturing and distribution of orange recycling bags, including their supply and delivery, and the construction of urine-diversion toilets at certain wards in the municipality.

"I wish to categorically state that these investigations were instituted by the CIIU, owing to the eThekwini municipality's long-standing commitment to good and clean governance," he said.

'Falsifying documents'

Nzuza said they wanted the process to be conducted in a transparent manner "so that we can allay any fears that there is undue political involvement or untoward influence in municipal administration affairs".

He said the recommendations made were in line with his responsibilities as the accounting officer of the municipality, which has a budget of R45 billion for the 2017/18 financial year.

"I am therefore compelled to act against those who violate the Municipal Finance Management Act and those who flout council processes," he said.

The recommendations include disciplinary processes against those implicated, pending further investigation.

He revealed that the municipality had also blacklisted more than 20 companies to date for a number of offences.

"Their offences ranged from non-disclosure of business interests, falsifying documents, defrauding the municipality and tender collusion," he said.

Ngcobo added that at least three officials were under scrutiny.

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