Manager faces fraud, rape rap

Canaan Mdletshe

Suspended Umzinyathi municipal manager, Otto Kunene, could be charged with fraud and corruption by his municipality.

The embattled Kunene was suspended two months ago after a senior female official laid a charge of attempted rape against him. Kunene is currently out on R2000 bail and is expected to appear in court tomorrow.

Sowetan has reliably learnt that a two-year-old investigation by the office of provincial MEC for housing, traditional affairs and local government, Mike Mabuyakhulu, has been completed.

Its findings, which are said to paint a gloomy picture of corruption and mismanagement, have already been submitted to the municipality for action.

The investigation was instituted in 2005 after allegations of maladministration in the municipality. The report recommends that the municipality press ahead with a charge of fraud against Kunene.

Sowetan has learnt that one of the findings in the report indicates financial irregularities during Kunene's tenure as manager.

It reveals that Kunene abused the municipality's credit card, which he allegedly used to visit brothels.

Mthatheni Mabaso, the Umzinyathi municipal spokesman, yesterday confirmed that they had concluded the investigation and that a report has been tabled with the municipality.

"After completing our investigations, we drafted a report and recommendations to the municipality. It's up to them to take the relevant action," said Mabaso.

When contacted for comment, Umzinyathi's district mayor, Mbangiseni Yengwa, could only confirm that they have received the report.

"Yes, I can confirm receipt of the report, but I can't divulge its contents because of its confidentiality. But I can safely say that our lawyers are studying it and we will make an official comment in due course," said Yengwa.