Premier has no choice but to immediately suspend MEC Dube-Ncube following damning evidence of corruption
6 June 2018
The Democratic Alliance (DA) has written to KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Willies Mchunu, calling for the immediate suspension of the provincial MEC of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), Nomusa Dube-Ncube, pending the outcome of an inquiry following damning information relating to her alleged involvement in massive corruption within the Nkandla and Mthonjaneni municipalities.
The evidence, in the form of a dossier obtained by the DA, includes information relating to four separate matters:
Firstly, the appointment of a company, Brand Partners, owned by the MEC’s husband, Sibusiso Dube, to provide communication services to the Nkandla municipality at a fee of R7 750 404 over 36 months (view here). Not only was this appointment in contravention of SCM procedures, while using Regulation 32, it was also not budgeted for. Nor was there approval from Provincial Treasury, which is a requirement of the MFMA. There was also a capable Communications Officer in this role at the time (view here)
The second corruption claim against the MEC relates to the appointment of Nkandla Municipal Manager, Mr LS Jili. In a letter dated March 2017 (view here) the MEC indicated that the MM’s appointment is not in compliance with legislation for a number of reasons, one of which was the fact that the candidate was not qualified for the position. The MEC also pointed out that the MM’s total remuneration of R942 569 was above the minimum point package in terms of the 2016 Upper Limits Notice. In an apparent about-turn by the MEC, the MM was then appointed and according to documents obtained by the DA, in August 2017 Brand Partners was awarded the contract for communications services to the municipality. In September 2017, then National CoGTA Minister, Des van Rooyen, wrote to Nkandla Mayor, Councillor AT Ntuli (view here) stating that the MM should not have been appointed. He also pointed out that there were in fact eight other candidates who did indeed meet the requirements. Despite this, the MM remains in the position.
The third matter relates to similar allegations of corruption within the Mthonjaneni Municipality, where, yet again, there is evidence that Regulation 32 was used in the appointment of the same Brand Partners for a series of contracts for communication and other related services worth R8.2 million (view here and here).
The fourth matter also relates to the appointment of the Municipal Manager in that Municipality – who was allegedly also appointed despite not meeting the requirements for the position – and who would have authorised the said communications contract with Brand Partners.
While the DA has long been aware of wide-scale corruption within KZN’s municipalities, the fact that the MEC herself is now at the centre of such a corruption scandal is unprecedented.
Local government is the backbone of service delivery. Every cent counts. There can be no place for self-enrichment at the expense of the people and the DA expects the MEC to explain exactly how and why her husband came to be awarded these contracts and why both of these Municipal Managers were appointed in spite of irregularities.
The DA has given the Premier seven days to respond to our call that he immediately suspend the MEC pending the outcome of investigations. We also expect him to suspend both the Nkandla and Mthonjaneni Municipal Managers until their actions have been subjected to a comprehensive probe.
The Premier must now show that he is committed to rooting out corruption without fear or favour. He must also show that he is prepared to act in the interests of KZN’s people rather than in the interests of ANC politicians.
In the event that he fails to do so, the DA will move a Motion of No Confidence against him in the KZN Legislature.
Issued by Zwakele Mncwango, DA KZN Spokesperson on the Office of the Premier, 6 June 2018