Move designed to end the paralysis and forcefully implement the forensic investigation report
KZN Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube has today announced that the Provincial Cabinet during its last session resolved to place the beleaguered Endumeni Council in Dundee under administration in terms of section 139 (1)(b) of the Constitution.
The move by the Provincial Executive follows months of infighting and paralysis which have gripped this Northern KZN municipality, compromising key areas of service delivery.
Endumeni Municipality has been embroiled in internal strife which saw the entity without a Mayor and Speaker for a considerable period of time. The Council subsequently held a meeting, after an intervention from Cogta, and eventually elected the Mayor and Speaker.
Prior to the election of the new Council Executive, MEC Dube-Ncube tabled a forensic investigation which uncovered rampant corruption, including the payment of donations to individuals under the pretext that these were donations to religious organisations. These organisations were found to be non-existent.
Some payments were made to business entities to purchase equipment in contravention of the municipality’s own policies, fraudulent subsistence and travelling claims, irregular appointment of service providers in violation of the municipality’s supply chain management procedures, and excessive and irregular expenditure on security services, among other things.
“This forensic report is proof of our commitment to good and clean governance. As government, we are committed to ensuring that our municipalities spend each and every rand on the real needs of communities. We are fighting maladministration, fraud and corruption in municipalities wherever and whenever these occur. All reported allegations are duly investigated without fear or favour and Cogta does regular follow-ups on the progress with implementation of its recommendations,” said Dube-Ncube.
She said the allegations that led to the investigation were directed at some of the most senior elected leaders and appointed officials at the municipality.
The Council was given 21 days within which to process the report and advise the MEC of remedial action and to date this has not taken place and the report is said to be missing. Cogta has supplied another copy of the report to the new Council.
The intervention is expected to, among other things, speed-up the implementation of the forensic report and opening of criminal cases against all those implicated. It is also expected to fast-track disciplinary processes and usher in a new era of good and clean governance in the municipality.
“We are implementing this intervention because we want to see positive change in the lives of the people and how this municipality is governed. Nothing will change unless all those implicated in the corrupt dealings that have crippled this municipality are arrested and barred from dealing with public money,” said Dube-Ncube.
While we are confident with the recent election of Mayor Mlotshwa, we need to bring an end the instability that has prevailed at Endumeni for a long time. We will soon announce the administrator who will implement a turn-around strategy aimed at restoring full functionality. The administrator will make all the decisions in consultation with the Council.
“We are urging the Endumeni council to cooperate with the administrator in the best interest of the people of this municipality,” said Dube-Ncube.
For more information contact: KZN Cogta spokesperson Lennox Mabaso, 082 884 2403 or Senzelwe Mzila on 0824741882