Durban - The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Thursday evening called on the country's minister of cooperative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) to urgently intervene in the scandal-plagued eThekwini Municipality.
The party made the call just hours after allegations that an attempted poisoning of acting mayor Fawzia Peer may have taken place at a full council meeting earlier in the day.
"The municipality has become engulfed in chaos, following the extension of contracts to companies which are closely linked to Mayor Zandile Gumede, who has been placed on ‘special leave’, and Councillor Mondli Mthembu, who have been charged with fraud and corruption amounting to over R200 million," said the DA's Cogta shadow minister, Haniff Hoosen.
He said the DA's provincial leadership had written to the public protector’s office to alert it to the extension of the "dubious contracts". It was now up to national government to ensure the effective functioning of the municipality and that services continued unhindered, said Hoosen.
"Additionally, Auditor-General (AG) Kimi Makwetu stated yesterday that the AG’s leadership had to take the decision to suspend the audit process for the eThekwini Municipality, due to intimidation and threats. SAPS had to escort audit staff to the metro, while the municipality’s leadership had to intervene to restore calm and safety to enable the uninterrupted resumption of audit work.