SIYAYA DENIES GRAFT
A construction company at the centre of a corruption scandal involving R3million in the uMhlabuyalingana municipality has refuted allegations that it has defrauded taxpayers.
Allegations have surfaced that officials and politicians in the IFP-led council defrauded the department of local government and traditional affairs of more than R3million.
The leadership of the municipality, including mayor Dompasi Ncube, speaker Lindani Ngubani and manager Eric Manqele are accused of authorising the payment of more than R3million to companies that have not completed projects.
Councillors in the northern Zululand municipality claim that Siyaya Aluminium and Structures received payment for unfinished work of building council chambers and offices.
Yesterday, Siyaya dismissed the allegation, saying they "did not defraud taxpayers" and were suing the municipality, which owes them R1,4million for work done on the site.
Records shown by the company to Sowetan reveal that it received over R800000 for claims related to preliminary, general and site establishment costs and the work done on the site in Mbazwana area.
The company had cleared bush on the 22000-square metre site and dug trenches for the foundation.
The site is now covered in vegetation and the foundation trenches are covered in sand due to heavy rains.
Materials and tools are still on the site, which are looked after by a security guard who is being paid R8000 a month, said Meren Govender of Siyaya.
"We came to build after we had won the tender and we worked under the supervision of Uluntu Aptech System project manager since June 2008.
"We ceased operations on the site after the municipality failed to pay us in December last year. We had to pay over R100000 for hired equipment including excavation machines.
"We have handed the matter over to our attorney," he said.
Last week, MEC for local government and traditional affairs Mike Mabuyakhulu appointed independent forensic investigators to scrutinise the financial affairs and other irregularities in the municipality.