3 OFFICIALS SUSPENDED OVER FRAUD

THREE senior officials of the Nkandla local municipality have been "provisionally" suspended for allegedly defrauding the municipality of millions of rands.

THREE senior officials of the Nkandla local municipality have been "provisionally" suspended for allegedly defrauding the municipality of millions of rands.

Municipal manager Mgezeni Ngonyama, director of community services Mbongeni Ndlela and director of corporate services Nontobeko Mathe have been suspended after claims of financial mismanagement and corruption surfaced.

It is estimated that the money in question is more than R6million.

The municipality has an operating budget of nearly R30million. It is alleged that the money was misused on suspicious tender deals.

Mayor Zwelabo Zulu confirmed that the three were suspended but declined to give details about the case itself.

He said the municipality had received a "disclaimer" from the auditor-general.

And they subsequently asked for reports from the three, which was not received.

"It was issues surrounding matters raised by the auditor-general that had not been responded to by them," Zulu said.

"Also there were allegations of (financial) irregularities that were raised. As the municipality, we had to act on the allegations.

"We felt that for forensic investigations to continue without any hiccups, it would be best if those suspected be suspended," he said.

Zulu said once the investigations have been finalised, the findings and recommendations would then determine whether they should be charged or not.

"If they are cleared, we will definitely lift the suspensions," he said.

In response, Ngonyama said he was in the dark as to why they were suspended.

He said the suspension letters they received contained no details except that there were allegations of "corruption and irregularities".

"I am blank as to why we were suspended because my understanding is that when proper procedures are followed you investigate and on finding something wrong take a decision," Ngonyama said.

"In this case I am in the dark as to on what basis the municipality decide to suspend us."

Ngonyama confirmed that his other two colleagues had received similar letters of suspension.

They were unavailable for comment.

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