KZN COGTA announces forensic investigation into alleged tender fraud at uMzumbe

At the request of the Umzumbe municipal council, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube has today formally authorised a forensic investigation into the affairs of Umzumbe municipal council in terms of section 106 of the Municipal Systems Act.

The investigation will focus on alleged fraud, corruption and maladministration within the municipality. The investigation follows numerous allegations of fraud, corruption and maladministration levelled against senior officials of Umzumbe municipality by various stakeholders, including the local business chamber.

Last week the operations of the municipality were put on a standstill by some stakeholders alleging malfeasance and demanding the immediate resignation of the Municipal Manager.

Umzumbe municipal council then wrote a letter requesting the MEC to launch an independent investigation covering all allegations the stakeholders were raising.

In the interest of good and clean governance, the MEC acceded to the request and has since commissioned the forensic investigations which will commence shortly.

Section 106 of the Municipal Systems Act which states that: “If an MEC has reason to believe that a municipality in the province cannot or does not fulfil a statutory obligation binding on that municipality or that maladministration, fraud, corruption or any other serious malpractice has occurred or is occurring in a municipality in a province, the MEC must:

  1. a) by written notice to the municipality, request the municipal council or municipal manager to provide the MEC with information required in the notice; or
  2. b) if the MEC considers it necessary, designate a person or persons to investigate the matter.”

“As we launch this forensic investigation at Umzumbe, we urge everyone with relevant information here to come forward and assist us in the name of transparency and clean governance in our municipalities,” said Dube-Ncube.

Once the investigative work is complete and a final report is available, KZN Cogta will consider the findings and recommendations and ensure the municipality takes appropriate actions.

The department is urging all parties to allow the investigation to take its cause and cooperate fully.

“We are also urging all entrepreneurs who are participating in municipal tenders to observe the necessary procedures and desist from exerting pressure on municipal officials outside of these procedures. This is illegal and it will be investigated,” said Dube-Ncube.