DA calls for Cogta intervention following 'undemocratic and disturbing recurring events' in eThekwini

2019-06-27 21:39
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(Gallo Images)

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The DA called for urgent intervention by Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on Thursday, following "undemocratic and disturbing recurring events" in the eThekwini Municipality.

"The municipality has become engulfed in chaos, following the extension of contracts to companies that are closely linked to Mayor Zandile Gumede who has been placed on 'special leave' and councillor Mondli Mthembu who have been charged with fraud and corruption amounting to over R200m," DA cooperative governance and traditional affairs spokesperson Haniff Hoosen said in a statement.

"The DA in KwaZulu-Natal has already written to the Public Protector's office to alert the chapter nine body of the extension of these dubious contracts. It is now up to the national government to ensure the effective functioning of the eThekwini Municipality, and that services to the people of eThekwini continue unhindered."

A full council meeting on Thursday was rocked by allegations of an apparent poisoning attempt on the mayor.

According to Hoosen, the speaker announced that some councillors' water bottles were compromised, and might have contained paraffin.

"We can rule this out as being a targeted attempt at poisoning members of the council," he said.

Hoosen also referred to Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu's statement on Wednesday that its leadership had to suspend the audit process for the eThekwini Municipality due to intimidation and threats.

"The police had to escort audit staff to the metro, while the municipality's leadership had to intervene to restore calm and safety to enable the uninterrupted resumption of audit work. The audit findings concluded that eThekwini, along with the uThukela, uMzinyathi, uMkhanyakude and Ugu district municipalities collectively accounted for R1.76bn of the total disclosed irregular expenditure amount," he said.

"Mayor Gumede's dodgy dealings has led to the collapse of the municipality and for thuggery to become the order of the day."

On Tuesday, News24 reported that the ANC heavyweight was unlikely to return to her position as eThekwini mayor after her 30-days of "special leave", with the party expected to force her to resign.

Gumede was forced to take leave by the KwaZulu-Natal ANC's provincial executive committee, led by chairperson Sihle Zikalala, after her arrest - and subsequent release on R50 000 bail - on charges of fraud and corruption related to a R208m Durban Solid Waste tender.

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Read more on:    nkosazana dlamini-zuma  |  da  |  anc

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