THE African Nation Congress (ANC) caucus of the Ray Nkonyeni Municipality has welcomed a Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) report on a forensic investigation conducted into irregular expenditure at the former Ezinqoleni Municipality.
The report was released last Tuesday at the special council meeting after a year of investigation.
Cogta initiated the forensic investigation into allegations involving R35 million worth of irregular expenditure incurred through alleged acts of misconduct by senior managers during the merger of Ezinqoleni Municipality and the Hibiscus Coast Municipality in August last year.
The investigation was first initiated at the request of the Ray Nkonyeni Municipality, who is a successor in title to the former Ezinqoleni after the auditor-general had picked up that money had been spent irregularly. It is alleged that R15 million of the R35 million was spent in just one month before the municipal systems were consolidated and the two municipalities merged, as per the recommendation of the Municipal Demarcations Board.
In the report, some councillors and officials were implicated and names were revealed to the councillors.
According to ANC caucus leader Selvan Chetty: “The ANC caucus of the Ray Nkonyeni Municipality wishes to thank the MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube and her capable team for their support and assistance in ensuring the successful completion of the special investigation into alleged financial irregularities at the former Ezinqoleni Municipality just prior to amalgamation with Hibiscus Coast Municipality.”
“This investigation is the result of a collective effort of the senior management of Ray Nkonyeni Municipality, The MPAC (Municipal Public Accounts Committee) as well as Cogta staff, supported by the political leadership of the ANC deployed at the municipality.
“The scope of the investigation was to investigate the irregular appointments and excessive payments to service providers that were named, and further to investigate alleged misspending, fruitless and wasteful expenditure as well as evaluate the quality of work performed and materials used that was reported as unsatisfactory.
“The ANC has noted the contents of the Cogta investigation conducted in terms of Section 106(1)(b)of the Local Government Municipal Systems Act. We have taken special note of the recommendations of the MEC in that all those cited as having committed an offence in terms of legislation must be dealt with by the Ray Nkonyeni Municipality in terms of the law.
“The ANC supports the full implementation of the recommendations of the MEC as detailed in the report. We firmly believe that all those found to have contravened sections of the MFMA and other legislation must be dealt with in terms of the law. The ANC remains clear in that we must do all that is necessary to root out corruption and maladministration at every level of government.
“As the leading party at the Ray Nkonyeni Municipality, we want to send out a clear message to those who do business with us, as well as those in our employ as officials and councillors, that we will not tolerate any act or omission in violation of legislation that is designed to defraud or manipulate the system to gain unfair advantage to any service provider, official or member of the public.
“We will act decisively against such offenders. We will support council in its attempt to recover losses where possible and further ensure all aspects of the recommendations are implemented. The ANC leadership at Ray Nkonyeni Municipality expresses its thanks and appreciation to the full council for their support and co-operation during the course of the investigation.”