Zondo commission reads municipalities riot act
The state capture inquiry has written to the Mpumalanga MEC for cooperative governance, asking for intervention after some municipalities failed to respond to its questions.
The commission into state capture initially wrote to municipalities in the province to answer certain questions about alleged capture by businesses. However, the commission said some municipalities have failed to furnish it with the information it required in its investigations.
The commission has now written to MEC Mandla Msibi to intervene and force the municipalities to cooperate.
In a letter, the secretary of the commission Bridget Shabalala asked Msibi to order municipalities to comply with its requests.
"The commission requested certain information from the municipalities. While we have mixed success in terms of getting municipalities within your province to respond to us, we are at a stage in which we are asking for your assistance in ordering the outstanding municipalities to comply with our request," read the letter.
The commission requested the municipalities to provide, among others, the audited annual financial statements from the auditor-general and a schedule detailing the various matters that make irregular expenditure as reported in the municipality's annual financial statement.
The commission also asked for a detailed list of payments made from 2008 to last year, all internal audit reports, the list of matters reported to the municipality's fraud hotline and top 20 suppliers to the municipality by value per year.
The municipalities which have not responded to the commission are Dr JS Mokora in Siyabuswa, Thembisile Hani in Balfour, Lekwa, Mkhondo, Msukalikwa, Pixley Ka Isaka Seme, Chief Albert Luthuli, Gert Sibande district, Steve Tshwete, Victor Khanye, Dipaliseng and Thaba Chwue local municipality.
Sowetan has also seen letters from Msibi's office ordering the municipalities to respond to the commission.
The EFF in Mpumalanga has welcomed the commission's actions: "The EFF in Mpumalanga welcome the decision of the the Zondo commission to summon 12 Mpumalanga municipalities which are alleged to be implicated in state capture, fraud and corruption," said the EFF's provincial chairperson Collen Sedibe.
"This is the time for the municipalities to account for all corruption and fraud activities that the EFF has been raising with the public protector and the law enforcement agencies.
"The EFF is more worried that the biggest municipalities such as Mbombela, Emalahleni, Govan Mbeki and Bushbuckridge are not part of the listed municipalities by the commission.
We will in due course write to the secretary of the commission to ask for answers as to why they are not listed because their known corrupt and fraudulent activities were submitted to the commission," he said.