The MEC for Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs, Bentley Vass. Picture: Danie Van der Lith

Kimberley - The DA in the Northern Cape has accused the ANC of “allowing ongoing factionalism” to overshadow what it dubbed the “very damning” Section 106 report on the investigation into irregularities at Sol Plaatje Municipality.
Officials allegedly implicated in the report, which was released during a closed council session on Thursday, include the former Sol Plaatje executive mayor, Mangaliso Matika, the suspended chief financial officer, Lydia Mahloko, and the suspended municipal manager, Goolam Akharwaray.

After Pula Thabane was elected as the new mayor on Thursday, the findings of the Section 106 investigation into allegations of fraud, corruption, maladministration, financial misconduct and malpractice at the municipality were released by the MEC for Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (Coghsta), Bentley Vass.

The findings were released during a closed session and the public and media were escorted out of the gallery by security.

Copies of the report had by yesterday not been made available to councillors.

DA provincial leader Andrew Louw said that the ANC was allowing factionalism to overshadow the findings of the “very damning” Section 106 report.

“In particular, the ANC is avoiding addressing the contract extensions of the acting municipal manager, Ruth Sebolecwe, who has been implicated in the long-awaited Section 106 report. Amongst many other things, the report also raises questions regarding Sebolecwe’s role in granting access to the suspended municipal manager, Goolam Akharwaray, and the CFO, Lydia Mahloko, to the municipal IT system. It also mentions a Hawks investigation into irregular appointments of friends and family members under her watch, as well as her inability to account for all the EPWP project workers on the system,” Louw said.

He added that the DA had written to MEC Vass, demanding answers relating to the contract extensions approved by himself.

“The DA is in the process of considering how best to take this matter forward. In the meantime, we will also be studying the Section 106 report in detail, as soon as we gain access to it, to ensure that no stone is left unturned in rooting out the rot that has taken hold at Sol Plaatje.

“The ongoing Sol Plaatje saga is proof that the ANC will never be able to undo the damage that is has inflicted upon this city,” Louw said.

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