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Ward members want councillor probed

By Canaan Mdletshe | Aug 27, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

ANGRY ward committee members at Mhlabuyalingana, KwaZulu-Natal, have called on local government MEC Nomusa Dube to investigate their councillor for allegedly defrauding them.

The members have accused councillor and ward committee chairperson Paul Ngubane of defrauding them and the Mhlabuyalingana municipality of thousands of rands.

A committee member who wished to remain anonymous said according to municipal regulations and guidelines, every member is supposed to receive a stipend of R80 for every meeting attended.

"We are a 10-member committee and Ngubane is our chairperson because he is our councillor," he said. "We have attended about nine official meetings since last year but have not been paid.

"When we confronted him about the stipend he became violent. Realising that we were not going to get a cent from him, we decided to go to the municipality."

He said ward committee members in other areas received their stipends. This made them suspicious that something was wrong. The committee member said when they arrived at the municipal offices, they were given answers that "shocked" them.

"According to the municipal records, our councillor has been signing for the money and getting it, but it never reached us. The money owed to all of us is about R120000.

"None of us has ever seen the money, which is why we feel MEC Dube has to intervene and help us," he said.

He said not a single meeting had been convened since they started asking questions about their money.

Municipal manager Eric Manqele said he was aware of the members' complaint.

"They have laid a complaint with me but at this stage I can not say whether the allegations are true or not," Manqele said.

"I will write to the municipal speaker and notify him of the complaint. I will also report the matter to the council.

"If the council gives me the go-ahead, I will institute an inquiry. I will then be in a position to say if the allegations are true or not."

Musa Ngubane, head of Mhlabuyalingana's directorate of community services, confirmed that he had signeda requisition form for the release of the money, but added: "I don't know what happened thereafter."

Paul Ngubane was not available for comment yesterday.


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