KZN Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) has confirmed that it has received reports of allegations of interference in the public procurement processes involving Zululand District Mayor Thulasizwe Buthelezi.
The department has been inundated with media queries on this matter and would like to clarify as follows; Upon receiving the allegations the MEC for COGTA Nomusa Dube-Ncube, wrote to the Speaker of the Zululand District Municipality, urging the respective council to investigate this matter without delay.
According to the allegations received by KZN Cogta, Mayor Buthelezi participated in the formal public procurement processes of his municipality on at least two occasions earlier this year. This runs against the spirit of the country’s local government legislation which seeks to promote clean governance.
The Department is informed that the Mayor of Zululand Municipality, CIIr T. D. Buthelezi, is alleged to have attended and participated in the briefing session held on 18 April 2018 in respect of two municipal tenders, namely, the Rudimentary South Water Supply (Drilling of Borehoies) project and the Rudimentary North Water Supply (Drilling of 60 boreholes) project.
In terms of section 117 of the MFMA, a councillor may not be a member of a municipal bid committee or any other committee evaluating or approving tenders, quotations, contracts or other bids, nor attend any such meeting as an observer.
In terms of section 118(a) of the MFMA, no person may interfere with the supply chain management system of a municipality or municipal entity.
In addition, Part 2 of the MFMA deals with criminal proceedings, and Section 173 (5)(e) provides that a councillor, an official of a municipality or municipal entity, a member of the board of directors of a municipal entity or any other person is guilty of an offence if that person deliberately or in a grossly negligent way contravenes a provision of section 115(2), 118 or 126(5).
Item 2(b) of the Schedule 1 to the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act No. 32 of 2000 (“Code”) provides that a councillor must at all times act in the best interest of the municipality and in such a way that the credibility and integrity of the municipality are not compromised.
Item 11(a) of the Code also provides that a councillor may not, except as provided for by law, interfere in the management or administration of any department of the municipal council unless mandated by Council, and Item 11(d) provides that a councillor may not encourage or participate in any conduct which would cause or contribute to maladministration in the council.
In terms of Item 13 of the Code, if the Speaker of the council, on reasonable suspicion, is of the opinion that a provision of the Code has been breached, the Speaker must-(a) authorise an investigation of the facts and circumstances of the alleged breach; (b) give the councillor a reasonable opportunity to reply in writing regarding the alleged breach; and (c) report the matter to a meeting of the municipal council after paragraphs(a) and (b) have been complied with.
“Our role in local government institutions is to ensure that all municipalities in the province run clean administrations where all elected public representatives abide by all applicable laws, including the Municipal Finance Management Act,” said KZN MEC for Cogta Nomusa Dube-Ncube.
“These are very serious allegations and we as Cogta appeal to the Zululand District council to investigate them without fear or favour and act in the best interest of the people of Zululand who deserve a clean and accountable local government,” said Dube-Ncube.
For more information contact: KZN Cogta spokesperson Lennox Mabaso, 082 884 2403