The actions of the ANC and the Eastern Cape MEC for Local Government over the R1,5 million forensic probe into the affairs of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro is undermining transparency and accountable governance in this province.

The MEC for Local Government, Sicelo Gqobana, is compelled in terms of the Municipal Systems Act to table a copy of the forensic audit report into the affairs of the Metro. The Act was amended and gazetted on 13 October 2008. It states that where a minister requests the MEC to investigate maladministration, fraud, corruption or any other serious malpractices, the MEC must table a report detailing the outcome of the investigation. This report must be tabled in the relevant Provincial Legislature within 90 days from the date on which the minister requested the investigation. A copy of the report also must be sent to the minister, the Minister of Finance and the National Council of Provinces.

It is clear from The Herald report of 24 August 2009, that Co-operative Governance Minister Sicelo Shiceka requested Gqobana to conduct the forensic audit. This action brings section 106 of the Municipal Systems Act as mandated into play.

It is our opinion that the MEC is now in contradiction of the Municipal Systems Act if the report is not tabled in the Legislature.

It is also disturbing to note the comments of spokesperson of the ANC, Mlibo Qoboshiyane, that an ANC working group is going to work through the findings in the report (Die Burger, 11 May 2010).

How can this report be released to a political party and not to the Legislature and the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality?

In the same Herald report Derek Hanekom, as one of the ANC National Executive Council members deployed to the Eastern Cape is quoted: “justice would be done and it will be fair and transparent”.

The DA will be pursuing this matter both in the National Assembly and in the Provincial Legislature by using the Parliamentary weapons at our disposal.

For further information, please contact Bobby Stevenson, MPL on 082 775 3444.

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