Suspension of Ugu municipal manager ‘long overdue’
Durban - THE immediate suspension of Ugu municipal manager Dhanpalan Naidoo following allegations of corruption and tender fraud levelled against officials at the local council in a damning forensic report was “long overdue”, opposition political parties said yesterday.
Ugu Municipality spokesperson France Zama said that a decision had been taken in a special council meeting to place Naidoo on suspension with immediate effect.
The decision comes after a damning forensic report, commissioned by the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, detailing allegations of tender fraud, financial misconduct and the payment of ghost employees at the council. According to the report, which was presented to the council last month, an amount of R300 million was also siphoned from the municipality’s bank account.
DA Ugu caucus leader Leonard Ngcobo welcomed the suspension as “long overdue” and called for the immediate termination of contractors implicated in the report.
“Taxpayers’ money has been mismanaged, misappropriated, and looted with no consequence management. This has resulted in the collapse of the provision of water and sanitation to businesses, and residents,” Ngcobo said.
IFP Ugu councillor Sfundo Ngwane said the move was overdue as Naidoo should have been suspended “some time ago even before this investigation”.
“… after the report was delivered to the municipality, ANC councillors were playing hide and seek … because they did not want to suspend him. The IFP had to push for the immediate suspension of the municipal manager,” he said.