'LEKWA COUNCIL AXED DUE TO CORRUPTION'

21/10/2009. Deputy minister of police Fikile Mbalula and ANCYL president Julius Malema at Sakhile stadium in Sakhile township in Standerton,  Mpumalanga announcing the ruling party's decision to recall  mayor , Juliet Radebe after weeks of service delivery protests in the township. PIC: VATHISWA RUSELO. 21/10/2009. © SOWETAN
21/10/2009. Deputy minister of police Fikile Mbalula and ANCYL president Julius Malema at Sakhile stadium in Sakhile township in Standerton, Mpumalanga announcing the ruling party's decision to recall mayor , Juliet Radebe after weeks of service delivery protests in the township. PIC: VATHISWA RUSELO. 21/10/2009. © SOWETAN

THE ANC yesterday revealed details of some of the problems that led to the recent protests in Lekwa, Mpumalanga, and the removal of the mayor, councillors and chief whip on Wednesday.

THE ANC yesterday revealed details of some of the problems that led to the recent protests in Lekwa, Mpumalanga, and the removal of the mayor, councillors and chief whip on Wednesday.

According to information gathered by national executive committee members Fikile Mbalula and Malusi Gigaba, the problems that led to violence in Sakhile township had already been raised in an audit in August last year.

These included appointing staff without qualifications and awarding performance bonuses of R80000 without a performance evaluation, the ANC said.

"The previous municipal manager was not expelled but rather given a golden handshake after allegedly committing criminal acts," the party said.

The mayor "manipulated" the organogram, the council could not produce financial statements because there was no qualified chief financial officer and the council could also not account for the use of public funds, it said.

The ANC said a R30million investment inherited from the previous council could not be accounted for, which divided councillors, some of whom did not know how the money was spent.

A chicken broiler was allegedly capitalised about eight years ago, built on land donated by the Department of Land Affairs, which to date remained incomplete. A company was reportedly paid in full before commencing the work and no efforts were made to recover the money. The company was later given additional work, which included paving roads.

A company called Sahara Sands was allegedly granted a R17million project in contravention of policy because 30percent of the work was not given to local contractors.

The ANC said liquor and catering jobs were given to the same suppliers to the exclusion of locally-based companies.

These issues had been raised before, but not attended to. All these issues would be investigated by an administrator who would apply due process of the law, "even if it means perpetrators go to jail".

The party's working committee felt it had no option but to take the action it took against the council. - Sapa

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