THE Nelson Mandela Bay Metro is investigating fraud and corruption cases totalling over R71-million.
The metro’s internal audit committee has identified more than 40 cases since 2011 and this year referred to the council’s legal services unit for advice on how to recover the money.
Cases include falsified payslips, tax scams, “ghost” employees, bribery and corruption, cyber fraud and false qualifications.
A failed international music festival last year, bankrolled by the council to the tune of R1.7-million, is also under investigation.
Some cases have been reported to the police. The metro’s legal services is expected to report back on their investigations by the end of this month.
In a report to the provincial legislature by local government MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane, it was revealed that the metro’s audit committee investigated 42 cases totalling R71.3million between 2011 and 2013, including a R30-million water treatment deal, a R13-million guardrail repairs contract, R16-million that disappeared in the metro’s facilities management unit and R10-million allegedly misused by the constituency directorate.
According to Qoboshiyane’s written response to a question by Democratic Alliance MPL Bobby Stevenson, the council is also investigating falsified payslips to the value of R40 000 and R600 000 communication contract.
Qoboshiyane said in August the audit committee had referred most of the cases to the city’s legal services unit and he expected the reports to be finalised by the end of November.
They will later be tabled in council for political scrutiny.
“Internal audit carried out 18 investigations in 2011-12 and 24 in 2012-13,” Qoboshiyane said.
“As from August, the completed investigative reports have been referred to legal services to assess the merits of each report and develop a process plan with clear recommendations.
“The reports were submitted to legal services to also assess the possibility of recovery based on the merits of each case.”
Qoboshiyane and departmental superintendent-general Stanley Khanyile could not be reached last week for more details on the cases.
Metro spokesman Mthubanzi Mniki yesterday confirmed that cases were being investigated, but would not give any details around the cases.
“Yes we can confirm that these cases are being investigated. All these cases are receiving serious attention through the internal, formal and relevant channels that are appropriate for each case.
“It will, however, not be legally sound and responsible for us to divulge merits and the stages of the investigations because disclosing them might compromise the very same processes we are busy with.”
Mniki said Nelson Mandela Bay Metro was committed to acting on corruption and fraud.
“Anyone who is found to be guilty of such acts will be dealt with within the framework of the law,” said Mniki.
He added: “Investigations [are] currently at a sensitive stage but at an appropriate time the municipality will inform the public about the findings and decisions taken.” —