City’s fraud report further delayed

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Staging hijackings, faking thefts and burglaries, and using car wrecks to back up false accident claims are just some examples. Stock photo: supplied

Durban - eThekwini municipality’s ratepayers will have to wait for three more months before the controversial Manase and Associates report, which has implicated about 130 officials and councillors in corruption, is released, mayor and ANC regional spokesman James Nxumalo has said.

He made the comment alongside five other local ANC leaders at the party’s regional media briefing in Durban.

The municipality was busy with disciplinary procedures so as to confirm allegations in the report, he said.

There were 10 senior officials, 120 junior officials and five councillors who were accused of misconduct and, although the municipality had full confidence in Manase’s findings, disciplinary hearings had to confirm them.

“Manase is a human being who can make errors. We don’t want to name and shame people and end up having to apologise to them. We will only name people who have been rightly implicated,” said Nxumalo.

The provincial Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs has revealed it coughed up R14.9 million for Manase to probe about R1.2 billion of suspect transactions and maladministration in the municipality.

Nxumalo said his party was confident the municipality was handling the report well.

“The municipality has a competent team to handle matters raised in the report. We support the processes that are in place,” he said.

Regional ANC chairman Sibongiseni Dhlomo called on former eThekwini municipal manager Michael Sutcliffe, who was named in the report, to raise his concerns within the ANC.

“Sutcliffe was a member of the provincial legislature and the ANC provincial executive committee before he was assigned to drive the city in the right direction. That is why we are saying, Mike [Sutcliffe], [the] ANC is your home, and you should come back and discuss these issues with us,” said Dhlomo.

Sutcliffe, who has threatened to institute legal action against the current municipal manager, Sbu Sithole, over the corruption report, said the Manase report was not directly an ANC matter.

“Actually, I have been in discussions with the ANC and alliance provincial leaders throughout the [duration of] Manase process, and even afterwards.

“Given that we were never given the right to respond to the issues and due process was never afforded to us, we have had no other recourse but to defend our names and integrity and show what we did to fight corruption and to uncover the truth,” said Sutcliffe.

Meanwhile, the DA’s caucus leader, Tex Collins, said his party was sceptical about the way the ANC had handled the report.

“They (the ANC) are fearful of the indictment the report provides and will do everything in their power to prevent its release to the public, so as to save themselves the acute embarrassment and subsequent fallout it will bring.” - The Mercury


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