Investigation finds prima facie evidence against Cape Agulhas DA mayor Paul Swart

Cape Agulhas DA mayor Paul Swart. Picture: Facebook/Executive Mayor Paul Swart

Cape Agulhas DA mayor Paul Swart. Picture: Facebook/Executive Mayor Paul Swart

Published Apr 3, 2023

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Cape Town - A bombshell investigation report accuses Cape Agulhas DA mayor Paul Swart of interfering in the tenders process, signing off on payments to an entity with which he allegedly has strong links and ultimately leading to fruitless and wasteful expenditure.

The Cape Argus has seen the Nexus Forensics Services report, titled “Final Report: Forensic Investigation into Allegations Made Against the Executive Mayor”, which found among others that Swart had “on various occasions, gave, or purported to give, instructions to officials on operational matters”.

On July 1 last year, opposition councillors submitted a motion of no confidence against Swart to the municipal manager, according to the investigation report.

At the heart of the motion was a payment of R30000 made in March 2021 to the Elim Community Trust, which was supposedly made to boost the economy.

The councillors who filed the motion contended that Swart “never declared that he was part of the establishment of the trust, and that he served on it for many years”.

Among other accusations councillors made against the mayor were:

  • He allegedly hadn’t fulfilled his duties and responsibilities, and failed to adhere to rules, and was negligent with the municipality’s finances.
  • That funds were distributed from a marketing fund and Golf Day budget, with no evidence that the organisations applied for funding, which was in contravention of the relevant legislation.
  • That he participated in financial transactions in which he possibly had an undisclosed conflict of interest, and that these deals amounted to fruitless and wasteful expenditure.
  • That Swart improper instructions for payments to be made, transgressing the code of conduct, and that he had been interfering in the administration by giving ad-hoc instructions directly to staff, ignoring the municipal manager.

Speaking to the Cape Argus, Swart confirmed the investigation and said the matter was tabled in council with the speaker to establish a committee to investigate the findings.

“We await that the committee will do their investigations. I will, for the first time, (submit) my inputs into the allegations. I deny 100 percent all the allegations,” Swart said.

Nexus investigators found that Swart, on several occasions, “gave, or purported to give, instructions to officials on operational matters”, in contravention of section 12(a) and (b) of the code of conduct.

“Incidents appear to have continued after the mayor had been sensitised on how his requests may be perceived, and the risks of him undertaking and continuing with such behaviour,” the report said.

The investigation also found that Swart’s request to the chief financial officer to review the council’s resolution relating to the leasing of the kiosk, “may be conducive to an attempt to obstruct a council decision, which becomes policy, made by the Council. This is a contravention of section 12(c) of the code of conduct”.

“We conclude there is prima facie evidence of multiple occasions where the mayor interfered in the administration of (the Cape Agulhas Municipality), (including procurement activities/ demand management), or attempted to interfere, notwithstanding being advised of the risks of such behaviour.”

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Cape Argus

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