eThekwini pins hope on investigation unit to root out corruption

The ANC-led eThekwini metro wants to give more teeth to the city’s integrity and investigation unit (CIIU), an internal unit whose responsibility is to investigate allegations of fraud and corruption.

This was contained in a state of the city address delivered by eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda on Tuesday afternoon.

The unit was instrumental in recommending that the former mayor of the only metro in KwaZulu-Natal, Zandile Gumede, had a case to answer relating to the Durban Solid Waste (DSW) tender, which was apparently given to politically connected cronies and hand-picked cadres.

The matter, which involves the loot amounting to more than R200-million, is currently before a court of law.

Recouping stolen state’s resources

“As part of consequence management for those involved in these corrupt exercises and malfeasance, we are working with law-enforcement agencies to recoup state resources that were stolen,” explained Kaunda.

He also revealed that the unit was now investigating 74 new cases involving corruption, maladministration, and fraud.

The DSW tender was at the heart of the suspension of Gumede from ANC party duties.

However, that did not prevent her from being elected eThekwini region ANC chairperson in absentia while serving her second term.

The eThekwini metro is the powerhouse of the provincial economy, while the ANC eThekwini region wields massive influence in terms of the party’s political dynamics.

It also controls a massive budget allocation of about R6-billion.

Gumede orchestrated the loot

The city’s investigating wing also revealed in a letter to the Hawks that contractors were often paid without doing any work.

Gumede was fingered as the mastermind who orchestrated a plan to loot.

Former city manager Bonga Nzuza was also implicated in the court indictment, which shows that he aided and abetted the corruption activities together with other senior officials in the metro’s procurement and finance units.

Former unit head Mbuso Ngcobo found himself in harm’s way following an investigation by the CIIU.

Ngcobo became a marked man, fearing for his life and that of his family. He subsequently resigned.

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