DURBAN 19102012 Shawn Mpisane , Pinetown Mag Court. PICTURE: Jacques Naude

Durban - Opposition parties in eThekwini municipality have called on the council to halt its contracts with Zikhulise Cleaning Maintenance and Transport while the current fraud case against its owner, Shauwn Mpisane, is under way in the Durban Commercial Crimes Court.

For years Mpisane has received the lion’s share of housing contracts in the city.

Minority Front councillor Patrick Pillay on Thursday asked municipal manager S’bu Sithole to reconsider the decision to award contracts to the Mpisanes pending the outcome of this court case.

“Housing is a critical aspect of the city’s budget. There must be more stringent vetting processes,” said Pillay.

National Freedom Party councillor Bongiwe Mtshali said the city owed it to ratepayers to ensure that the truth about the Mpisane contracts was exposed.

The DA’s executive committee leader, Tex Collins, said the party had always maintained it was wrong for the city to do business with the Mpisanes.

“Mpisane is currently facing over 100 charges of fraud and uttering yet our city manager quietly negotiates a contract of over R150 million without the necessary approval from council.

“Besides, many of the houses her company built were so poorly constructed that they had to be demolished,” said Collins.

DA MPL George Mari said the party had always harboured suspicions about Zikhulise’s “uncanny ability” to get major provincial government contracts despite severe criticism about the quality of its work.

The city was unavailable for comment.

The Mercury