ANC wants forensic probe in uMlalazi

ANC councillors in the IFP-led uMlalazi local municipality in Eshowe on the North Coast have called for forensic investigations into the municipal finances.

But municipal manager Chris Berger says the probe is unnecessary because the municipality has an "unqualified audit report".

Councillor Mansonsotha Ngema, who also serves in the finance portfolio committee, told Sowetan yesterday that they feel that there's financial mismanagement.

"In the municipality there was a scheme under which councillors and officials from the municipality could get advance loans or salary advances from the municipality," Ngema said.

"In 2002 there was a circular from the government explaining that all loans made to councillors and officials should be paid up and that no more loans should be given since it was against the legislation."

Ngema said they found out that mayor Mzaneno Themba Magwaza, two councillors and other officials received loans of about R25 000 last year.

"We question why and how they got these loans after it was clearly stipulated that councillors are no longer allowed to get loans.

"There are many other issues of financial mismanagement that we want the provincial government to investigate.

We are of the view that the R25 000 is just the tip of the iceberg.

"We will continue making a noise until we are heard."

Ngema said they had already written to the provincial government, asking for its intervention. But municipal manager Chris Berger denied the allegations.

"No loans were granted to any councillor or official of the uMlalazi Municipality," Berger said.

"In addition the executive committee at its meeting on November 3 2009 resolved that no salary advances be granted to any councillor or official.

"No vehicles were bought for any official. Actually, the council has yet again received an unqualified audit report, so its unblemished financial record speaks for itself."