AfriForum PE 'vindicated' by suspensions of NMB Municipal officials

SEPTEMBER 10, 2015

AfriForum Port Elizabeth and the Nelson Mandela Bay Ratepayers Association (NMBRA) have also welcomed the suspension of several senior officials at the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality this week on allegations of corruption and gross misconduct.

“Fantastic news and as you know by now, we worked for six years to clean out corruption, mismanagement and incompetence - and we warned previous Mayors and CFO’s that the politicians and officials ‘are stealing the milk out of their coffee while drinking it’,” AfriForum Vice Chairperson, Kobus Gerber, told RNews. He is also the Chairperson of the NMBRA.

“We have now reached a stage that I can thank Minister  Pravin Gordhan for listening to our call in doing what we been plead them to do for years, take corrupt officials on and prosecute them.”

The municipality confirmed the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Director of Communications, Roland Williams; S. Nkanjeni, from the municipality's Supply Chain department and C. Ritter-Erasmus, also from Communications. Other officials have received notices of the intention to suspend them.

Gerber said he was confident most of the suspended officials would be found guilty of stealing taxpayers monies.

“[It’s] not some of them, but most of them and if you see the corruption report we served to the Hawks, Public Protector, Min Gordhan and others, you will see how serious corruption in our Metro is.

“In the IPTS [Integrated Public Transport System], we know that out of about R 2.45 billion that was paid to the Metro, close to R 1.4 billion was stolen through tender processes,” he said.

“If they found them guilty, they should all be jailed, assets seized and sold to recover all lost tax/ratepayers monies. The NMB Metro should set an example to the rest of South Africa’s politicians and officials that corruption does not pay and AfriForum will not stop until all corruption is rooted out - it’s just a matter of time.”   

Gerber said that he believed nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor, Danny Jordaan, who celebrated his first 100 days in office on Wednesday, was genuine about flushing out corruption at City Hall.

“Danny Jordaan was send in by the ANC government to gain the heart of the public for next year’s elections and do the dirty work that we have been working on for years as political interference prevented previous Mayors from taking steps against corrupt officials.

“I want to believe that Danny is serious about eradicating corruption, but time will tell, I made a statement to him that if you want to combat corruption in the NMBM and South Africa, you need to ensure all officials and politicians police tender processes and if any official can prove a corrupt transaction, he needs to be rewarded with 10% of all monies recovered from that transaction. That will stop corruption in its tracks,” he said.

Gerber said that the Metro is losing close to a billion Rand annually through corruption and if the necessary steps are taken to address it, huge savings could be made.

Other officials suspended between June and July 2015 are:

  • L. Blignaut: Building Inspector, Human Settlements 
  • N. Gerwel: Deputy Director, Capital, Budget and Treasury 
  • R. Jassen: Cashier, Economic Development 
  • N.N. Cakwebe: Cashier, Economic Development 
  • N.P. Jesile: Cashier, Economic Development 
  • T.M. Ngcanga: Cashier/Clerk, Economic Development 
  • T.G. Nonziyana: Cashier, Economic Development 
  • C. Els: Cashier, Economic Development 
  • S.A. Cornellissen: Cashier, Economic Development
  • D.I. Nokele: Director, Fresh Produce Market, Economic Development
  • M.M. Ndoyana: Executive Director, Corporate Services 
  • L. Petuna: Executive Director, Human Settlements

The officials are expected to appear in disciplinary hearings soon.

Acting City Manager, Mzwake Clay appealed to other municipal officials and members of the public, who may have information useful to investigators, to please share that info with the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality's Internal Audit Office.