Harry Gwala municipality surprised to see top official in court over alleged involvement in R1.3m scam
The Harry Gwala District Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal says it only learnt on Tuesday that one of its current senior employees was implicated in the fraud, corruption and money laundering scam involving four other former senior municipal employees.
Current director of revenue Vuyokazi Mfeqa appeared in the Durban Commercial Crimes Court on Tuesday alongside former project manager for infrastructure Dumisani Mzolo, former accountant acquisition manager in supply chain management Raymond Mthokozisi Radebe, former personal assistant at the office of the director of infrastructure Chwatiya Ntombi Mathlamvu, former administration manager at the infrastructure department Anthia Adams, her husband Wesley Adams and business owners Thabang Mfusi, Obuhle Rosalia Ngcobo, Lubabelo Madikizela and Vuyani Mngonyama.
It is alleged that Mfeqa and the former officials colluded with service providers by processing false claims for services that were not rendered.
This allegedly took place between December 2016 and February last year. Almost R1.3m was allegedly shared among the officials and their accomplices.
Municipal spokesperson Ndabezitha Tenza told News24 that three of the former officials had resigned and one had been fired.
"Only one (accused) is still in the employ of the municipality. We only became aware of her alleged involvement when they appeared in court," he said on Wednesday.
Tenza said the municipality had initiated the investigation that led to the arrest of the accused.
"They then handed themselves over to police on Tuesday," he said.
On what steps the municipality would take against Mfeqa, he said: "We will follow internal processes because we were not aware that she was involved in the case of these former employees. We will act accordingly after we have followed all the internal processes. The processes will start as from today onwards."
The municipality featured prominently in the Moerane Commission investigating the underlying causes of political killings in KwaZulu-Natal.
The commission heard that several leaders who were against corruption in the ANC-led region had been killed.
Former ANC Youth League secretary general Sindiso Magaqa, who was an Umzimkhulu proportional representation councillor, is among a number of ANC leaders in the region who were allegedly shot for fighting corruption.
He was shot on July 13 last year and died from his injuries while at a Durban hospital in September.
"We are always on our toes with regards to issues of corruption. We are committed to clean governance. We initiated the investigation that led to the arrests of these employees. We have plans in place to fight corruption," emphasised Tenza.
Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi told News24 that all 10 accused were granted bail of between R2 000 to R5 000 each.
They will appear again in court on November 9, he said.