South Africa: Probe Ordered Into George Municipality Over Alleged Fraud, Corruption

9 September 2019

The Western Cape local government department has ordered an investigation into allegations of maladministration, fraud and corruption at the George Municipality.

In a statement on Monday, James Brent-Styan, the spokesperson for Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC Anton Bredell, said the investigation would also look at other serious alleged malpractices at the municipality.

Brent-Styan added the decision followed an assessment made by Bredell [at the municipality].

"The investigation will focus on, among other matters, the George integrated public transport network and irregular appointments made at the municipality."

"No stone will be left unturned," said Bredell, adding he hoped the investigation, which will be conducted "without fear or favour", would be concluded as soon as possible.

The municipality indicated it would comment on Tuesday morning.

In July, the Hawks swooped on several offices and private homes of municipal employees.

At the time, Hawks regional spokesperson Captain Philani Nkwalase said the investigation related to alleged fraud and corruption emanating "from the failure to follow due process regarding the appointment and filling of vacant posts".

In April, GOOD party leader Patricia de Lille laid a complaint with the Public Protector over what she alleged was an investment and kickback scheme in the DA-led municipality, involving a councillor and his son.

According to De Lille, evidence showed the municipality had invested R350m of its reserve funds at financial institutions, and that handling fees were paid to the son of a George councillor amounting to nearly R400 000 in the first six months of the project.

Bredell said at the time De Lille's claims were unfounded, however, he acknowledged the provincial government was fully aware of the allegations.

Source: News24

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