Saturday 2019-04-20

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‘SANDLANE VICTIMIZED FOR HATING CORRUPTION’

By Samkelisiwe Khoza | 2019-02-12

EMBATTLED Matsapha Mayor Sandlane Zwane hated corruption, hence other councillors were against him.

These sentiments were submitted by Councillors Mavela Shongwe and Bongani Mkhatshwa yesterday before the Commission of Enquiry to probe into the Matsapha Town Council affairs.

Shongwe, during his submission, strongly refuted corruption and abuse of unopposed motions allegations that were thrown towards Zwane by the other councillors for two days of submissions.

He said Zwane hated corruption and he (Shongwe) would not have fallen under his side if he was corrupt as is alluded by the other councillors.

Shongwe also introduced himself to the commission that he was a member of the Matsapha Town Council Finance Committee.

“I am a puppet of truth, not a package of someone as it is alluded. I strongly stand for the truth. If there was evidence that Zwane was somehow involved in corruption, I would not be on his side,” Shongwe said.

He said chaos within the council ensued after an audit tender was granted to the PWC over KPMG, who happened to score a 100 per cent when graded and compared to the other audit firms.

He said the policy within the ministry of housing and urban development stated clearly that an audit firm should not audit for a period that is over three years hence PWC won the audit tender.

Shongwe said with the ratepayers complainming about unaccounted for funds, which they too as councillors could not account for while under KPMG, they came to the decision to grant PWC the audit contract.

He was further questioned by Commissioner Benito Jones if indeed council meetings were turned into those of Bongani Mkhatshwa and Zwane’s meetings, as other councilors simply became bench fillers. Shongwe said the councillors were obligated to raise their hands whenever they had questions, not that the chairperson only gave his faction the opportunity to speak during meetings.

Was it proper for Zwane to move a motion and Shongwe and Mkhatshwa seconding that motion, that is the question that was posed by Jones based  on August 2 last year minutes. Shongwe said Zwane moved that motion because he saw that Matsapha would benefit from that tender granting not that he was acting corrupt.

He clarified that Zwane never abused power of the unopposed motion, but acted within his authority as the chairperson of Matsapha.

He appeared tongue-tied when asked why he acted swiftly and investigated other councillors he felt were corrupt, yet turned a blind eye on Zwane’s doings. Chairperson of the Commission Lungile Magagula raised that there were issues of fraud against Zwane that were previously reported, yet Shongwe said corruption allegations against Zwane never reached his ears.

 Magagula said it was previously reported that Zwane was involved in a fraud act relating to windows and containers.

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