Forensic Council probe is on, COGTA confirms

There is to be a forensic investigation at the Endumeni Municipality. This emerged after a high-level meeting held between COGTA officials from Pietermaritzburg and members of Endumeni Council’s executive committee, Exco, in Newcastle on Thursday, November 30.
It was said that the meeting was held in Newcastle for security reasons.
COGTA has implemented Section 106 of the Municipal Infrastructure Act which relates to a forensic probe into the affairs of the Council. However, Mayor Richard Mbatha, through spokesman Siphamandla Mnguni, said ‘the investigation came about after a request from ANC Councillors to only pursue the Mayor’.
“Council had already resolved to conduct the forensic investigation that would probe every maladministration dating back from 2011 to date.
The objective thereof is to ensure that any alleged acts of corruption are properly and efficiently investigated and consequential management actions are implemented should the findings indicate wrongdoing by anybody in the municipality.

“These meetings are to discuss various issues on governance and back-to-basics programme implementation. They diagnose areas that may hamper the effective performance of municipalities.
“Therefore we view the MEC’s investigation as too narrow if only the Mayor is pursued. Malpractice was alleged to have been committed during the last term of office where the ANC was in charge.
Those must also be investigated in order for the investigation not to lose credibility, otherwise, it could be perceived as another petty politically motivated probe that does not seek to address issues of governance in this municipality.”
Asked to comment on the meeting, Lennox Mabaso, COGTA spokesperson, would not give specific details.
He confirmed that a meeting had taken place between ‘officials deployed by the MEC and Councillors’.
“These meetings are to discuss various issues on governance and back-to-basics programme implementation. They diagnose areas that may hamper the effective performance of municipalities. We will not respond to any speculation save to say COGTA is committed to ensuring that municipalities perform optimally, are well governed within the law and in the best interest of communities.”
It is understood that the forensic investigator appointed by COGTA will be introduced this week to the Council.

  AUTHOR
T Worley

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