The EFF has embarked on a mission to close all loopholes in the financial accounts belonging to the Zululand district municipality in KwaZulu-Natal.
This after the district municipality lost R32-million in unlawful and illegal withdrawals from its bank account.
Police case opened
The matter was raised by the Absa bank. Municipal manager Ronald Hlongwane reported the matter to the police.
The matter has since been moved up to the Directorate of Priority Crimes Investigations (Hawks). The municipality’s head of IT, who is allegedly involved in the illegal activities, has been suspended pending investigation.
In a statement released by the EFF national spokesperson, Sinawo Thambo, the party also demands that the National Treasury suspends the Central Suppliers Database (CSD). This will be for the period while investigations are still in process.
“The EFF directed the municipality, particularly the municipal manager and chief financial officer, to strengthen their cybersecurity. It is totally unacceptable that criminal elements were able to gain access to, and make payments from the district municipality bank account, which would otherwise need three approvals before payments are made,” said Thambo.
R26m recovered, more still being traced
At least R26, 065 209.68 has been recovered following interventions from the bank. An interim court order was issued on January 8, 2024. The R4, 841 247.28 sent to Siyakhulisa Distributors was still held in the FNB suspension account. This is while waiting for the final court order.
Thambo said the EFF will be expecting weekly reports from the mayor and municipal manager regarding the money that is yet to be paid back into the municipal account.
Zero Azania benefited R8, 790 009.30 in two illegal payments of R4, 429 832 and R4 360 177.30. Siyakhulisa Distributors also benefited twice in total of R9, 711 603.97 with first payment being R4 870 356.69 followed by R4 841 247.28.
Top Centre Trading received R 675, 241.36 and Mjwara was paid R3, 854 078.38. The municipality suffered a total loss of R32, 019 914.96 in illegal transactions.
“We, as the EFF, will write to the Hawks to demand that they take urgent action against all those involved in the theft of public funds from the municipality.
“The company registrations, bank accounts, and IP addresses of computers used to steal money from the municipality are traceable. These can be pointed to specific individuals who must be held accountable,” said Thambo.
R126m unauthorised expenditure
The auditor-general was also questioned on the R126-million unauthorised expenditure for the 2022 financial year. The municipality claimed it was used for load shedding, diesel, water tankers and security.
The municipality is faced with inadequate capacity to supply water in all of its regions. It has been involved in water extractions and reticulation projects. These were to ensure that the basic needs would be supplied to all areas covered by the municipality
“We as the EFF demand that water provided through water tankers must not be politicised because some rogue elements in municipalities give water on partisan grounds.”