KZN Cogta to meet with A-G’s office over death threats

2018-05-28 16:00
The City Press reported that a hard-hitting forensic report states that eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede  summoned a municipal official to her home to demand that a R25 million tender go to handpicked companies.

The City Press reported that a hard-hitting forensic report states that eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede summoned a municipal official to her home to demand that a R25 million tender go to handpicked companies. (Netwerk24))

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The provincial Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) is expected to meet with the office of the auditor-general today.

The meeting comes in response to allegations that a team of state auditors, which had been auditing eThekwini Municipality’s financial statements, had received death threats.

It is alleged the auditors were warned not to continue with their probe into the supply chain management department and the forensic investigations unit.

The audit team was withdrawn from the municipality by the auditor-general.

The dramatic withdrawal of the team is believed to be linked to, among other cases, an ongoing investigation by the Hawks against eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede.

The City Press reported that a hard-hitting forensic report states that Gumede summoned a municipal official to her home to demand that a R25 million tender go to handpicked companies.

Those companies, the report states, may have belonged to councillors and political figures that had supported Gumede in her political undertakings and that she owed them a token of gratitude in the form of contracts from eThekwini.

“We are pulling all the stops to ensure that we remove any hurdles that will stand in the way of the office of the auditor-general to discharge its constitutional duties,” said Cogta spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela.

He said Cogta had also assembled a team to expeditiously look into the matter to get to the bottom of it.

Meanwhile, Cogta national spokesperson Legodima Leso said the department was working with the police to finalise teams that will be sent out to oversee the process of municipal audits.

Leso told The Witness that the technical teams were expected to arrive in KZN this week.

“The national team will be there to assess what the challenges are, and thereafter make recommendations working with the provincial team,” added Leso.

On Friday, Gumede said she had instructed the municipality’s head of security to devise a plan to protect auditors.

Responding to the allegations of fraud against the mayor, DA provincial leader Zwakele Mncwango said he had been in touch with the Hawks since March about corruption in eThekwini.

“The Hawks should not only focus on the companies that are getting tenders illegally, they must go deeper and arrest politicians who are abusing their power by instructing municipal officials to give tenders to particular companies ...” he said.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  corruption allegations

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