Durban - The opposition Democratic Alliance in KwaZulu-Natal on Tuesday challenged Premier Willies Mchunu to lead by example and start with himself when it comes to lifestyle audits being conducted in the province.
The lifestyle audits were announced last week in Pietermaritzburg during the premier's State of the Province Address.
Mchunu said the KwaZulu-Natal government would conduct lifestyle audits of officials in high-risk positions in collaboration with the South African Revenue Services, starting with provincial supply-chain management units.
Francois Rodgers, leader of the DA in the KZN legislature, said the party had already committed its own caucus members to such an exercise, and called on Mchunu as well as members of his African National Congress caucus and all KZN legislature staff to follow suit.
But Mchunu said only supply-chain management staff and officials would be subject to scrutiny.
"This is simply not good enough in a province where there is wide-scale fraud and corruption. While the DA welcomes the premier’s initiative in the interests of trying to address this, all the signs are pointing to a probe which is likely to be subjective rather than objective," Rodgers said.
"Of further concern is the issue of whether the audits will be used to settle political scores, for those not politically connected, rather than trying to root out corruption. It is a known fact that some senior KZN politicians are linked to corrupt activities and are complicit in these activities."
"Furthermore, it is imperative that these audits be conducted by an independent body, such as the office of the Auditor-General, to ensure their credibility. The results must also be made public and not kept under lock and key, as with so many others," he added.
African News Agency/ANA