Councillor’s arrest raises more concerns
Siphamandla Madlala, 40, from ward 29, appeared in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Friday last week to face corruption and fraud charges.
Hawks provincial spokesperson Captain Simphiwe Mhlongo said it was alleged that Madlala had, between 2017 and 2018, facilitated R71 000 worth of fraudulent tenders from a supplier.
The tenders related to the procurement of marquees, tables, chairs and a PA system for municipal events.
“He allegedly demanded kickbacks from the supplier and received a sizeable gratification during the two years,” said Mhlongo.
He said Madlala was served with summons during March 2020 to appear in court in April.
“However, due to the Covid-19 level 5 lockdown, the courts were closed and the matter was postponed in his absence. Last week the matter was heard in court and has been postponed to next month. The ward councillor was released on a warning and is expected back in the same court on July 27 for a pre-trial conference,” he said.
DA councillor Sibongiseni Majola said if the allegations against Madlala were found to be true, they were deeply concerning.
“This paints a worrying picture about the supply chain processes. We are concerned that this is not an isolated incident; there are many councillors that could be implicated,” he said.
ACDP councillor Rienus Niemand said political parties had a responsibility to address any allegations of corruption.
“I am not saying that people should not be afforded the right to be proven innocent or guilty in court, but in my view such allegations should be met with action by the party the councillor belongs to. The councillor should also take responsibility. In the face of such allegations, he should either resign or his party should place him on suspension until his name is cleared,” he said.
Msunduzi Mayor Mzimkhulu Thebolla said they would wait for the legal process to unfold, but added: “We will be conducting our own internal investigation to find out what happened.”