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DA to lay criminal charges against Enoch Mgijima Municipal officials

Jul 18, 2018
DA to lay criminal charges against Enoch Mgijima Municipal officials

The Democratic Alliance (DA) says on Thursday it will lay charges of corruption, fraud and contravention of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA), Municipal Systems Act and Municipal Structures Act against current and former officials and Councillors of the Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality (EMLM).

The Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality, which is based at Queenstown, was established after the August 2016 local elections by the merging of Tsolwana, Inkwanca, Lukhanji local municipalities. 

"This will include the current and two former Mayors.

"The Auditor-General reported over R900 000 in irregular, unauthorised, fruitless and wasteful expenditure which the Council tried to write off in February 2018," described Terri Stander MP, the DA's Enoch Mgijima Constituency Leader..

"Also exposed was an amount of approximately R3.3 million paid to 10 ANC Councillors from September 2016 to July 2017 after they were illegally appointed as full-time Councillors by a former Mayor.

"In June 2018, 44 municipal vehicles were auctioned due to debt of over R21 million owed to a contractor. Only R6 million was raised through this auction and the sheriff planned to attach another 65 vehicles, office equipment and furniture."

Stander said that the DA has:

  • Appealed to the Council and to the Municipal Public Accounts Committee to take action;
  • In March 2018 written to the MEC for Cooperate Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) Fikile Xasa, to place the municipality under administration; and
  • In June 2018 written to the Minister of Finance and Minister to intervene.

"Despite all the DA’s attempts, no action has been taken.

"The DA is left with no choice but to lay criminal charges against, not limited to, 20 persons implicated in rampant fraud, corruption and legislative contraventions," she said.

"A failure by the ANC to implement consequence management and hold its cadres to account has created a distressed municipality unable to deliver on its mandate to the people of Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality."