JOHANNESBURG - The embattled South African Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) on Wednesday admitted that the workers' coffers had been plundered almost R88 million in just three years, but dismissed reports that it only had less than R1 000 in the bank currently.
Reports emerged this week that a damning forensic investigation revealed that millions of rands put aside to keep food on the tables of Samwu's striking members were redirected to cover some of the union's operational costs and to buy T-shirts.
The forensic investigation into five allegations of misappropriation and irregularities of the union's finances was conducted by accounting firm Ernst & Young (EY) in 2016, but was kept under lock and key until recently.
In a statement from its secretariat, Samwu - whose top officials were currently holding a special central executive committee (CEC) meeting this week - said the auditors have confirmed that the union had eight bank accounts in 2012, some of them unknown by its top officials.
The union said the bank accounts had a combined balance of just more than R94.5 million by 3 November 2015, but this had drastically decreased and the union's bank balance was over R6.2 million, and not the R538 which has been widely reported in the media.