Durban – The head of eThekwini Municipality’s investigation arm, the City Integrity and Investigations Unit (CIIU), Mbuso Ngcobo has been forced to resign after receiving several death threats.
He tendered his resignation letter on Tuesday evening to both Human Resources and the eThekwini Municipality city manager’s office.
Ngcobo, who has been investigating high-profile corruption cases involving former mayor Zandile Gumede and the city manager Musa Mbhele confirmed with the Daily News when it contacted him on Wednesday morning that after being under pressure for quite some time, tolerating threats to his life, which became more serious and dangerous last week, he felt he should leave for fear for his life.
Ngcobo added that on Monday he opened a case with the police because of the seriousness of the threats. He claimed he received detailed threats via telephone where the caller told him to stop his investigations in eThekwini.
“I have been receiving death threats and my family has been asking me to leave and rather starve at home than die. The last straw was when my brother literally wept, begging me to leave this work because the family did not want to lose me,” said Ngcobo.
Ngcobo has been under protection since he started testifying in the case against Gumede and others in the Durban High Court last year.
Ngcobo’s unit is the one that first investigated the more than R400-million Durban Solid Waste (DSW) tender scandal before the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI-Hawks) took over. This investigation resulted in the arrest of Gumede, councillors, business people and other senior officials.
He also compiled a report which found that the City manager, Musa Mbhele, had violated the Municipal Finance Management Act policies when he unilaterally amended a street pole advertising tender in 2016 which resulted in the renewal of the tender.
In terms of the policies for him to amend the tender agreement, he had to table the reasons to the council for the approval. Last month Mbhele was cleared of any wrongdoing in a report that was presented by mayor Mxolisi Kaunda, but the City said there was a corruption case opened but not against Mbhele, dismissing that he was facing any charges.
The eThekwini Municipality had not commented at the time of going to press.
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