Ndebele praised for R100m hearing

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

Political parties in KwaZulu-Natal have welcomed a disciplinary hearing against two senior agriculture department officials for overspending R100million.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sbu Ndebele and director-general Mandla Mchunu will this week hold a disciplinary hearing against Jabulani Mjwara, head of department of agriculture and environmental affairs, and Petrus Mahlangu, provincial financial officer. This follows an audit investigation into allegations of mismanagement of funds.

Lionel Mtshali, IFP leader in the legislature, said the party will comment after members have read the report.

"We have not yet had access to the forensic report, therefore do not wish to pre-empt any comment. We will wait for it to be tabled and then take part in the debate," said Mtshali.

UDM provincial chairman, Bongani Msomi, said his party welcomed the premier's action, but warned that the matter should not be used to settle political scores.

"We are happy that he has been called to account, but we don't want other political party's to use this to settle political scores. The IFP has been calling for Mjwara's head, but we feel that as long as he can account for what the money was used for, we don't have a problem," said Msomi.

ACDP's Jo-Anne Dunns said the hearing is long overdue.

"We have been calling for the investigation for a long time. Actually, it's been a year since we called for it and last week we requested a special investigation on the matter. But we are happy that he has been finally called to account. We can't allow a situation where people misuse funds while people on the ground are suffering," said Dunns.

DA's Rodger Burrows said his party is looking forward to the hearing. He said the party would keep a close watch on the matter and would follow it thoroughly.

"We are happy about the hearing and hope it will clear the cloud hanging over Mjwara's head."