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The highly contentious Manase report is back in the spotlight as the eThekwini municipality’s executive committee prepares to discuss it behind closed doors this morning, before taking the matter to a full council meeting.
The meeting comes amid rumours that the municipality has proceeded with disciplinary action against city treasurer Krish Kumar and Derek Naidoo, the deputy city manager for procurement and infrastructure, a charge they both deny. Naidoo said yesterday: “They haven’t put anything to me, neither have I seen any report.”
It is also expected that the issue of Naidoo’s expired contract will be on the agenda. Last month opposition parties were outraged when it emerged that Naidoo had been allowed to work for four years after his contract expired. However, Naidoo made it clear that he had not resigned.
When The Mercury approached Kumar yesterday he refused to respond to any questions relating to the Manase report.
“Do I look worried?” he said.
The Manase report exposed maladministration, corruption and fraud in the municipality and fingered a number of people, including former municipal manager Michael Sutcliffe and ex-housing head Cogi Pather. However, they have all complained that they have not seen a full copy of the report.
Yesterday Sutcliffe’s lawyer, Roger Knowles, said his client was now in possession of the full report, but he did not know whether or not any action had been taken against him.
“A charge might have been laid, but to my knowledge he has not been arrested or charged with anything,” said Knowles.
Sutcliffe could not be reached for comment.
The DA’s exco councillor, Tex Collins, said the outcome of today’s meeting would determine the next step in pursuing the issue and whether or not the party could afford to go to the high court in an attempt to compel the municipality to release the full report.
He said the DA had used the Promotion of Access to Information Act in February to get a copy of the report but, to date, had not seen it.
Derek Luyt, of the Public Service Accountability Monitor, said the public had a right to see the full Manase report.