Council manager 'gave brother R20m contract'

SUSPENDED manager of Mpumalanga's poorest municipality awarded a contract of about R20million to a company linked to his brother.

This is one of about 40 reasons why Sabelo Shabangu, the Nkomazi municipality manager, has been suspended.

An investigation by the municipality's forensic unit shows that Shamacivils-Consulting Engineers won a R18million contract with the Malelane-based municipality for THE provision of professional engineering services on a turnkey basis - with the approval of Shabangu.

Shabangu's brother, Thabo Shabangu, is a "member" of the company.

The report says in part: "This is in contravention of the code of conduct for municipal staff members and other applicable rules governing municipal workers.

"This conduct evidences your failure (as municipal manager) to discharge your duties to the employer properly and diligently... "

Though a company profile of Shamacivils-Consulting Engineers reflects Thabo Shabangu, Vusi Mamba and Jonathan Mayomba as "members", the official CC (Close Cooperation) form only reflects Mayomba and Shabangu as members - each with 50 percent shares in the company.

Shabangu was suspended in November last year when the municipality conducted a probe into his alleged financial irregularities.

Shabangu, who 10 months later, is yet to be charged, is challenging his suspension.

He refused to comment on the latest development.

The Nkomazi municipality is situated in the farming town of Malelane, near the Swaziland and Mozambican border gates, and has a population of about 300000 largely rural residents.