Durban - The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs has called on the Zululand District Municipality’s council to investigate allegations that its mayor, Thulasizwe Buthelezi, had interfered with tender processes.
The department said it had received reports that Buthelezi sat in on tender briefings, in violation of various local government regulations.
In terms of the Municipal Finance Management Act, a councillor may not be a member of a municipal bid committee or any other committee evaluating or approving tenders, quotations, contracts or other bids, nor attend any such meetings as an observer.
According to allegations received by the department’s Nomusa Dube-Ncube, Buthelezi participated in the formal public procurement processes of his municipality at least twice this year.
The department said Buthelezi was alleged to have attended and participated in a briefing session held on April18 in respect of two municipal tenders: the rudimentary south water supply (drilling of boreholes) project and rudimentary north water supply (drilling of 60 boreholes) project.
Asked to respond to the allegations, Buthelezi denied he had interfered with procurement, adding that he welcomed the call for an investigation.
He said that on the date in question, a group of tenderpreneurs stormed a tender briefing session at the municipality and threatened the council’s staff.
This group demanded tenders and disrupted the normal business of the municipality.
“Accompanied by two councillors and members of the SAPS and municipal security personnel, I then proceeded to confront these tenderpreneurs with the aim of restoring order and protecting the municipality’s staff and consultants,” said Buthelezi.
Attempts to reach the speaker of the municipality were unsuccessful.