Every cent lost in Nelson Mandela Bay IPTS corruption must be recovered: NMBRA

AUGUST 3, 2015

The Nelson Mandela Bay Ratepayers’ Association (NMBRA) and AfriForum Port Elizabeth again reiterated that they will not settle for suspensions and arrests of Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality officials and contractors implicated in milking the city’s failed Integrated Public Transport System (IPTS) project - and want every cent recovered.

While millions have been poured into the project, it has failed to get on the road. Several of the IPTS buses have been standing idle at a depot next to a fruit and vegetable market in Motherwell and were only seen on the roads during the 2010 FIFA World Cup as part of a pilot project.

“After six years of fighting against corruption, mismanagement and incompetence in the Metro, we are now starting to see positive results after many hours of meetings, investigations, and drafting of corruption reports as proof to the consumers and authorities of Nelson Mandela Bay that we will never back down on holding all officials, politicians and contractors accountable for the financial losses that you as a ratepayer have suffered,” said Nelson Mandela Bay Ratepayers Association Chairperson, Kobus Gerber, in a statement.

“We need to thank Minister Pravin Gordhan for his dedication and commitment in cleaning out the corruption in our Metro and to strive for clean governance.”

According to Gerber, their investigations into the IPTS corruption – aided by whistle-blowers from inside City Hall, was the basis for the current forensic investigations that are nearing completion.

The NMBRA and AfriForum report contains information that includes proof-of-payment receipts, names of companies involved in the IPTS project and how much they were paid, email exchanges between city officials, and reports and requests for deviation from procurement guidelines by those involved in executing the project.

“The Hawks and National Treasury who are investigating the IPTS corruption report are closing in on officials and contractors and, although we saw Nadia Gerwel and Adv [Mhleli] Tshamase suspended last week, and Mod Ndoyana and Lindile Putuna on Friday, we believe we will also soon see arrests made,” he said.

“The Metro also received a letter from Le Roux Incorporated stating that they would be willing to repay the metro R2 million professional fees received from them and, in addition, assist with the investigation against all involved who are looting millions from the NMBM IPTS funds.”

Gerber said that the next few weeks are going to be interesting for the Metro as the net closes in on those who unduly benefitted from the Nelson Mandela Bay’s biggest scandal to date.

“Over the next few weeks and months, you will see AfriForum’s High Court applications against officials and contractors, more suspensions and arrests. We believe that this will be the biggest breakthrough against corruption in the country,” he described.

“NMBRA and AfriForum will not settle for only suspensions and arrests, we want to see assets seized, sold and funds paid back to the Metro.

“We want to send a strong message to all corrupt officials, politicians and contractors involved in corruption that AfriForum will continue with investigations against them and hold them accountable for looting tax/ratepayers monies. Watch the next few month, it will be interesting!”