Berea mail – 27 June 2019 – Not the only municipality with corruption . The City of Durban renews contracts to companies fingered in fraud probe. All four contractors were arrested either prior or alongside Mayor Zandile Gumede and Councillor Mondli Mthembu.
THE Democratic Alliance in eThekwini has slammed the city’s decision to extend the contracts for refuse collection of four DSW contractors who were recently arrested in connection with a fraud and corruption investigation by the Hawks, amounting to more than R200 million.
In a media release on Tuesday afternoon, DA caucus leader, Nicole Graham said she was flabbergasted that the contracts had been renewed.
“All four contractors were arrested either prior or alongside Mayor Zandile Gumede and Councillor Mondli Mthembu,” she said.
Graham said the four companies, Ilanga Lamahlase Projects (Pty) Ltd, El Shaddai Holding Group cc, Omphile Thabani Projects and Uzuzinikela Trading 31 cc are owned by Hlenga Sibisi, Craig Ponnan, Bongani Dlomo and Sithulele Mkhize.
All four companies are closely linked to the Mayor, with allegations that Gumede and her allies hand-picked their chosen contractors in contravention of local government, supply chain and constitutional law.
“The fact that the municipality has extended these contracts, as opposed to cancelling them immediately, shows that there is no political will to root out corruption and fraud in the city,” she said.
Graham said at a meeting of the Executive Committee, Chief Financial Officer Kirsh Kumar, in justifying the extending of the contracts to the four contractors, pointed out that the arrests were only recently made, but claimed that the investigations were concluded in December 2018 and clearly in the possession of the city’s top brass.
“The report- which the DA has seen- clearly outlines how these four contractors committed fraud and corruption in cahoots with political elements,” she said.
She said the DA would alert the Public Protector’s office to the situation.
“This makes a complete mockery of the court processes and the communities of eThekwini,” she said.
MEDIA reports indicate that the Hawks are set to move on 62 eThekwini councillors who allegedly benefited from tender fraud relating to a Durban Solid Waste contact in which eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede, councillor Mondli Mthembu and contractor Craig Ponnan are implicated.
The three appeared in the Durban Regional Commercial Crimes Court this month where they faced corruption charges related to the R208m DSW tender. They were granted bail of R50 000 each.
KwaZulu-Natal’s new official opposition party, the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), has added its voice to calls for the suspension of eThekwini Municipal Mayor, Zandile Gumede.
Gumede and two other suspects, councillor Mondli Mthembu and service provider Craig Ponnan have been implicated in a Durban Solid Waste tender.
They have been charged with fraud, corruption, money laundering as well as contravening the Municipal Management Act of 2003.
The suspects appeared in the Durban Commercial Crimes Court on Tuesday and were granted bail of R50 000 each.
IFP spokesperson in the eThekwini municipality, Mdu Nkosi, says Gumede should be suspended to protect the whistleblowers.
“We are surprised that this matter appears just a few days after the elections. Now we suspect that there was political interference to ensure that it must be delayed so that the ANC cannot be tarnished in front of the voters of eThekwini. The Mayor must be suspended,” says Nkosi.
Sanitation tender – Gumede under investigation
MEETING 19 MAY 2019 – ANC AND MAYOR
Embattled eThekwini Mayor, Zandile Gumede, has broken her silence. She spoke exclusively to eNCA after meeting with ANC provincial structures. Siphamandla Goge caught up with her, he joins us live from Durban.