KZN Cogta MEC Sipho Hlomuka. Cogta is at loggerheads with IFP-led Nkandla Municipality over a damning KPMG forensic investigation report File picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency (ANA).
KwaZulu-Natal Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Department is at loggerheads with IFP-led Nkandla Municipality over a damning KPMG forensic investigation report, which took three years to conclude.

The 275-page document revealed irregularities in the municipality, including the appointment of senior managers without appropriate qualifications.

The municipality is the home of former president Jacob Zuma, and its mayor is IFP provincial chairperson Thami Ntuli.

Cogta, which commissioned the report, handed the report to the municipality in August.

The report revealed that the municipality might have irregularly spent taxpayers’ money on the remuneration of five officials who did not have relevant qualifications and experience to hold senior positions.

It flagged the employment of Zipho Mahaye as executive manager, the position which is second from municipal manager in terms of seniority, Simphiwe Biyela as integrated development plans manager, Nobuhle Biyela as senior protocol and executive support officer, and Nokwanda Magwaza as disaster management officer.

All of them, including Ntuli’s personal assistant Kwanele Shezi, were found to be without required qualifications and experience for their positions.

Although the affected officials hold higher education qualifications, KPMG said their qualifications did not meet the posts requirements.

In its recommendations, the audit firm said the affected officials should be removed from the positions and that disciplinary action be taken against those involved in the employment of the affected officials.

Responding to the findings of the investigation, Ntuli said the rural municipality did not consider the relevance of qualifications.

“When you are in a rural area you don’t want to deprive locals job opportunities. Therefore, you will understand when those on the panel arrive at such decisions,” he said.

Cogta spokesperson Senzo Mzila said the municipality should have already started implementing the recommendations, but this has not yet happened.

Political Bureau