George Mari, MPP
DA KZN Spokesperson on Co-operative Governance
THE Democratic Alliance is alarmed by KwaZulu-Natal Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) MEC, Nomusa Dube’s apparent disregard for her own deadline – set for eThekwini municipal officials to resolve all disciplinary hearings arising from the findings of the Manase forensic probe.
On 7 February, the MEC warned officials that she expected this process to be wrapped up within three months. Those three months are up and the MEC’s silence is deafening.
High-ranking municipal officials accused of maladministration and authorising irregular payments remain in office while Councillors, linked to massive fraud and corruption, have received a slap on the wrist. The DA believes it is grossly unfair that senior officials, who have been named and tried in the media, have not yet been charged and afforded the opportunity to defend themselves. How much longer must they be kept waiting?
There is no point whatsoever in the MEC setting a deadline if she is not prepared to follow through on it. Failure to act decisively and expedite the punitive process is at the MEC’s own peril. It is she who initiated the investigation and who promised that heads would roll. As the head of Local Government in KwaZulu-Natal, it is her responsibility to ensure that the millions in taxpayers’ money, poured into this investigation, are not spent in vain. Failure to pressure eThekwini officials sets a dangerous precedent and will make a mockery of any future municipal probes.
The DA has today submitted the following queries to the MEC in the form of a written parliamentary question;
– What was the deadline set by the MEC to conclude all the disciplinary hearings?
– Has the deadline been met? If not, why not?
– How many cases for disciplinary hearings have been identified?
– How many have been concluded?
– Have all cases against Councillors been concluded? If not, why not?
– How many Councillors have been implicated in wrongdoing?
– Have charges been laid against Krish Kumar, Derrick Naidoo, Jacquie Subban and Coglan Pather? If not, why not?
– Have the above-mentioned been presented with the full Manase Report? If not, why not?
– When will charges be laid for the disciplinary hearings to commence?
– When will the MEC release the full Manase Report?
The DA expects the MEC to ensure that disciplinary procedures are expedited and to release the full Manase Report. It is unacceptable that this highly contentious document remains hidden from public view.