- Municipal officials linked to serious allegations of fraud and corruption
KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Nomusa Dube-Ncube, in her quest for good and clean governance in municipalities, today tabled before the Mpofana municipal council an explosive forensic investigation into irregularities, fraud and corruption at this municipality.
The forensic report presented to the Mpofana municipal council has highlighted various acts of financial misconduct by Supply Chain Management officials and former senior officials.
In one instance, an irregular appointment of a service provider for a vehicle fleet lease has cost the municipality R27.9 million. Tender processes were flouted and fictitious documents submitted by the bidder were overlooked by municipal officials. The bid price further exceeded the second lowest bidder by R14.9 million. Various other instances of procurement irregularities are highlighted in the forensic report.
A further finding of the forensic investigation is that a former senior official mismanaged the municipal bank account, using it as if it were a private bank account.
The monthly salary of this senior official was withdrawn at various intervals to suit his personal financial circumstances and this was without the knowledge or approval of the municipal council. Such actions are in direct contravention of the MFMA and equate to financial misconduct.
The report contains many other serious allegations of malfeasance perpetrated by officials and senior administrators at the Mpofana municipality.
“I have today assigned a team of senior officials to table the report to the Mpofana council. The council has been given 21 days within which to table the report before full council, deal with specific details contained in the report and thereafter report to the MEC for Cogta on the remedial actions,” said Dube-Ncube.
“The forensic report we tabled today reveals shocking allegations by municipal officials entrusted with the responsibility to translate policy programmes into tangible service delivery initiatives. The report contains damning allegations and we have instructed the Mpofana council to take swift action based on our recommendations and ensure that such transgressions are not repeated,” said Dube-Ncube.
“The actions should involve civil recoveries, criminal proceedings and disciplinary processes against all those implicated in this report. It is very disappointing to observe that officials, instead of being servants of the people and putting the interest of the community first, have been involved in massive acts of self-enrichment at the expense of the municipality. We want the Mpofana council to ensure harsh consequences for all those implicated, including criminal and civil recoveries if they have jumped ship before being hauled to account,” said Dube-Ncube.
“As Cogta, our ultimate loyalty is to the residents of the Mpofana municipality on whose behalf we ensure clean governance and sound financial management in municipalities,” said Dube-Ncube.
KZN Cogta investigates all instances of fraud, corruption and maladministration in municipalities that are reported to it and the department’s reports on forensic investigations are formally presented to the relevant municipal councils with recommendations to be implemented by these councils to rectify past and prevent future fraud, corruption and maladministration.
“We are committed to investigating all instances of wrongdoing, including fraud and corruption, in municipalities that are brought to our attention,” said Dube-Ncube.
The Mpofana Council through the Mayor Cllr Xolani Duma welcomed the report and vowed to implement it speedily to ensure that it marks a dawn of a new era of accountability and good governance.