The DA in Gauteng has submitted an application in terms of the Public Access to Information Act (PAIA) requesting the forensic investigation reports into financial irregularities at the Westonaria and Merafong municipalities.
The application comes as a result of the Department of Cooperative Governance’s refusal to divulge the findings of a report by the Auditor-General into corruption in Westonaria, which prompted widespread protests in Bekkersdal – as well as an independent forensic investigation into financial irregularities in Merafong.
In 2014, the Auditor General launched a probe into corruption allegations against officials of the Westonaria municipality and Bekkersdal Urban renewal project after widespread protests.
To date, the contents of this report are not known.
A similar situation has been playing out in Merafong, where a Phandahanu Forensics and Rebahale Consultants forensic investigation report into financial irregularities in the municipality is being deliberately withheld by Gauteng Cooperative Governance MEC Jacob Mamabolo for “confidentiality” reasons.
Another forensic report conducted last year looked into the alleged issuing of 21 tenders that were awarded without proper procurement policies.
Gauteng’s municipalities are in deep crisis, and the ANC-led government must live up to its promises of fighting corruption, make known the contents of forensic reports into corrupt activities.
By covering up reports, it exposes its own hypocrisy in the fight against corruption, and its blatant disregard for transparent governance will only further anger residents and communities who demand answers.
Misuse of municipal funds is unacceptable and responsible officials must be brought to book.
The DA will continue to expose corruption and maladministration until the ANC stops protecting its cronies.
Fred Nel MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Cooperative Governance
083 263 2427