DA ASKS MASUALLE TO PROBE CAR SAGA: DAILY DISPATCH

THE DA has asked finance MEC Phumulo Masualle to investigate O R Tambo District Municipality employees who spent more than R1-million on a car hiring spree last year.

DA MPL Bobby Stevenson wants the results of the investigation tabled before the finance portfolio committee in the provincial parliament.

He said misuse of the public purse by “rogue” ANC mayors in a province suffering under the “yoke” of poor service delivery was unbelievable and a scandal of “mammoth” proportions.

Officials in the office of mayor Dingaan Myolwa burnt through almost half a million rands in two months last year hiring seven luxury vehicles. They were found grossly negligent by the specialised audit service (SAS) of the national Treasury department in a report released last week.

The cars were damaged while being driven by mayoral bodyguard Pumlani Kubukeli and it cost more than R1-million to repair them.

Kubukeli is challenging the validity of the report in court.

“The misuse of vehicles and travel claims that continue to surface in municipalities serve as a real test to the ANC on how to deal with rogue mayors and officials who enjoy the high life on taxpayers’ money while service delivery remains poor,” said Stevenson.

The national treasury report followed a Dispatch exposé.

More recently, the Dispatch has investigated how Buffalo City mayor Zukiswa Ncitha ran up bills of almost R800 000 on luxury vehicles and hotel accommodation on unofficial trips.

Stevenson said the ANC’s failure to act against its deployed cadres made a mockery of any commitment to good governance and pro-poor policies.

“Stop protecting your deployed cadres and start getting rid of the rot causing the slow pace of service delivery,” he said.

DA councillor Thembalihle Xhangayi said there was widespread mismanagement of public funds while the results of lifestyle audits were swept under the carpet.

Local government MEC and ANC provincial spokesman Mlibo Qoboshiyane said it was unfortunate that Myolwa’s office had refused to cooperate with the probe.

Qoboshiyane said his office would offer legal and labour support to a multiparty committee appointed to discipline those identified in the report. —