DA questions new probe into Midvaal

Johannesburg - The Democratic Alliance has questioned the motives behind a request by President Jacob Zuma for a special investigating unit probe into Gauteng's Midvaal municipality.

SABC news reported on Tuesday that Zuma authorised the probe into allegations of corruption, maladministration and misappropriation of funds.

This came days after the ruling African National Congress again lost the local government elections to the DA in Midvaal.

Midvaal Mayor Tim Nast said the Auditor-General had given the council a clean bill of health for eight successive years.

"It doesn't come as a surprise when the proclamation comes two days after the DA won a resounding victory in Midvaal," Nast told the public broadcaster.

"One can't help but think that there is some kind of politics behind it."

The presidency however disputed this, saying Zuma signed the proclamation ordering a probe on May 17, the day before the elections.

"The president recently ordered investigations in a number of municipalities, the majority of which are ANC run, for example Ekurhuleni and Tshwane metropolitan councils," spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said in a statement.

Nast said several political parties, particularly the ANC and the Freedom Front Plus, had been levelling these allegations for years.

"We have already co-operated with the public protector, the police and numerous other bodies over the last two years. We will fully co-operate with the special investigating unit as well."

The SABC said the presidential proclamation signed by Zuma was thin on details.

It instructs the unit to probe among others the improper disposal of municipal operating assets, failure to recover monies due to the council and appointment of personnel at incorrect post levels.

It orders a probe dating as far back as January 2002.

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