MEC launches forensic probe into municipality

KWAZULU-NATAL MEC for cooperative governance and traditional affairs Nomusa Dube has launched a forensic investigation into the affairs of the Mandeni municipality.

The move was triggered by allegations of maladministration, fraud and corruption. Matters under investigation include allegations on procurement and tender irregularities, theft and nepotism.

Recently, scores of Mandeni residents took to the streets demanding that Dube intervene and deal with alleged irregularities within the municipality.

They demanded that municipal manager Mpilo Ngubane, mayor Bheki Magwaza and exco member Dolly Shandu be removed.

Announcing the investigation, Dube, pictured, said: "We remain unwavering in our commitment to ensure good and clean governance in our municipalities. We have appointed a reputable firm of forensic investigators to go and dig deeper into these allegations so that if there is indeed any shred of evidence of wrongdoing by anyone it can be dealt with and those who are tarnishing the image of our public institutions must be exposed."

Dube invited members of the public who have any evidence of any form of wrongdoing in the Mandeni municipality to contact the department so that "we can link them up with the investigators".

Since taking office last August, Dube has adopted a no-nonsense attitude towards delinquency in municipalities by placing four municipalities, which include Indaka, Ukhahlamba, uMhlabuyalingana as well as the powerful uMsunduzi municipality, under administration.

In his latest report on the financial audit outcomes in municipalities, the auditor-general Terrence Nombembe lauded KwaZulu-Natal as the most improved province with the highest number of municipalities having received unqualified audit opinions despite being the province with the highest number of municipalities in the country.