The official, who heads one of Durban’s units, is alleged to have referred to Krish Kumar, the deputy city manager in finance, and others of Indian descent as “corrupt c*****s”.
Mbuso Ngcobo, head of the CIIU, confirmed that investigators from his unit were investigating the allegations after an official complaint was brought to their attention.
The allegations emanated from a voice recording of a telephone conversation between the official and a member of his unit.
The Daily News has opted not to name the parties involved in the recording since the matter is under investigation. The conversation concerned a disciplinary matter involving a city employee.
During the 25-minute conversation the official is heard referring to “corrupt c*****s” and “c*****s” five times, while explaining a strategy that should be used to retain the employee facing disciplinary action.
The man talks of being “politically in tune” and admits that while he was highly qualified, politics played a role in his appointment.
He then refers to politicians as being “savages” and “uneducated”.
He says they need guidance from “the appointees”.
“While the Krishes would be quick to investigate and punish our fellow black people, they are corrupt c*****s themselves at SCM (supply chain management); none of them are clean, at the end of the day. When black people are caught on the wrong side of the law, they are crucified yet supply chain management is full of corrupt c*****s.”
The other party in the conversation is heard laughing.
“These are the corrupt people I’m still going to deal with, one by one, at an appropriate time. They like to demonise black people. You might find yourself investigated the next day with cooked-up charges introduced for whatever interests these c*****s have. Then you find yourself being a villain.
“Who will protect you? Krish and the c*****s will not protect you, take it from me. The people that have the audacity to protect you at the municipality are these political figures. People who will say ‘Go to hell; so-and-so is going nowhere,” the official is heard saying.
Before the conversation ends, the official claims he was going to attend a meeting with the employee undergoing disciplinary action as well as three influential ANC executive committee members (names withheld).
He said: “Even there, I am going to be told the issue that we are not going to allow Krish to play us, or let the c*****s play us.”
Contacted by the Daily News, the official denied ever referring to Indians by that name, or ever having a conversation where he made such utterances.
“That’s utter wrong. If there’s such a voice recording, it was fabricated because it is non-existent.
“In one of the conversations I had with one of my colleagues, I said our people were dealt with unfairly by colleagues of Indian descent. On mentioning Krish I said it was disturbing that there would be money to hire senior (legal) counsel yet we are told about austerity measures when we request things like furniture,” he said.
He said he was not aware that there was a complaint with the CIIU.
The second party to the conversation said she did not want to be involved in the matter and would not comment.
Kumar said he had no knowledge of the issue.
“If this is true, then I’m disappointed because we are striving for unity and diversity in our country. This is what we hoped to achieve when we attained democracy in 1994.”
City manager Sipho Nzuza said he heard about the allegations yesterday morning.
“I have not spoken to the investigators yet. We have values that speak to a sense of respect for one another as colleagues and a sense of respect for all races. If there’s proof that these allegations are true, then disciplinary measures will be taken,” he said.