Breaking: DA to lay charges against EMLM, officials, former mayor and 10 councillors

Statement by DA MP and EMLM constituency leader Terri Stander

The Democratic Alliance (DA) will lay charges of corruption and contravention of section 52 of the Municipal Finance Management Act against officials of the Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality (EMLM).

The DA will also lay charges of corruption, fraud and theft against former Mayor, Lindiwe Gunuza and 10 ANC Councillors.

The Auditor-General reported over R1 billion in irregular, unauthorised, fruitless and wasteful expenditure which the Council tried to write off in March 2018.

Also exposed was an amount of over R3.2 million which was paid to 10 ANC Councillors from September 2016 to February 2018 after they were illegally appointed as full-time Councillors by the former Mayor.

The municipality is legally bound to recover the money in terms of Section 32 of the Municipal Financial Management Act, and the former Mayor must be held responsible in her personal capacity for illegally appointing the 10 ANC Councillors on full-time pay.

The DA has appealed to the Council and to the Municipal Public Accounts Committee to take action. In addition, the DA in March wrote to the MEC for Cooperate Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) Fikile Xasa, to place the municipality under administration, and delivered a statement in the National Assembly informing ministers of the crises. Despite all the DA’s attempts, no action has been taken.

All this incompetence and corruption has left EMLM bankrupt, with no money to settle creditors or maintain Municipal infrastructure.

To date, EMLM:

  • Sold 44 Municipal vehicles at an auction last Friday after the High Court granted a writ of execution to attach R58 Million worth of assets to pay a creditors six year old accrued debt of R58 Million;

  • Has resulted in creditors’ businesses being at risk of closure;

  • Experienced regular water and electricity outages because there is no money for maintenance or to pay creditors; and

  • Has crumbling drainage systems and sewerage is running down streets.

We now turn to the South African Police Service (SAPS) to investigate the allegations so the people of Enoch Mgijima will have justice, and that all monies stolen by the ANC will be recovered.

The DA will continue to fight against those who abuse state funds at the expense of the poor. It is unacceptable that those in powerful positions abuse their positions to unduly access money meant to empower underprivileged people.

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