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ANC issues vague comment on Buhlebezwe Local Municipality corruption allegations

KwaZulu-Natal ANC provincial secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli confirmed the party has received the allegations but has asked the region to look into it. Photo: Willem Phungula

KwaZulu-Natal ANC provincial secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli confirmed the party has received the allegations but has asked the region to look into it. Photo: Willem Phungula

Published Jun 23, 2022

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Durban — The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has finally broken its silence over the damning allegations of corruption purportedly taking place in Buhlebezwe Local Municipality in Ixopo.

The municipality, under Harry Gwala District Municipality south-west of the province, has been embroiled in damning allegations by anonymous authors of a 9-page document that began circulating on social media two weeks ago. It contained allegations of abuse of power by the municipal manager Gamakhulu Sineke and was addressed to various institutions, including the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs and other law-enforcement agencies, asking them to investigate the allegations.

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The ANC’s provincial secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli confirmed to the Daily News on Wednesday that the party has seen the document and has asked the region to look into it.

“We have seen it, although we have no details except this document. We have asked the region to check it,” said Ntuli.

In the main, the authors, who appeared to have been insiders, accused the municipal manager Sineke of milking the municipality funds that were meant to serve the people. The authors of the widely circulated document defended their anonymity, saying that with the killing of whistle-blowers of corruption, like councillors Sindiso Magaqa, Khaya Thobela and others who were vocal about corruption taking place in the region, they could not risk revealing their identity for fear of being killed as well.

In the list of allegations against the manager, the authors, who only identified themselves as concerned residents under the municipality, said they had noticed a new trend that when there were service providers appointed to do work for the municipality, the same company would be seen doing the same service simultaneously at the business and home of the manager.

They claimed that a service provider that was hired to install security cameras at the municipality building also did the same work simultaneously at the municipal manager’s house in Pietermaritzburg.

“There is a trend that has developed at Buhlebezwe Local Municipality where you find service providers appointed at the municipality to perform a particular service at exorbitant rates while performing the same service privately for the municipal manager. An example of this conduct has been witnessed with the following contracts: Installation of a borehole at the municipality’s main office, the same service provider was seen performing the same service simultaneously for the municipal manager at his Bed & Breakfast, which is also in the town as well as installation of aluminium windows at Peace Initiative hall in Ixopo town, the same service provider was seen performing the same service simultaneously for the municipal manager at his Bed & Breakfast,” read the document.

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The municipality mayor Thobile Ngubo said she could not comment on a faceless and baseless document, adding that to them, the document has no status.

Sineke said he believed the document was produced by people who feared change, adding it was nothing but to tarnish his name. He challenged anyone who had information against him to go to the police and lay charges.

KZN Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs spokesperson Senzo Mzila said the department has not officially received the document.

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