GEORGE NEWS - The forensic investigation ordered by MEC Anton Bredell into alleged fraud and corruption in George Municipality (the section 106 investigation report) served as a confidential item in Council last Thursday.
The report details allegations of gross misconduct in the War on Waste project which directly implicates Mayor Melvin Naik and municipal officials, some who hold senior positions.
Council approved further investigations into the matter.
According to municipal spokesperson Chantel Edwards-Klose, Council has "noted the report of the section 106 investigation and resolved to address the matter as per the provisions of the Code of Conduct for Councillors".
In effect this means the Speaker, Gerrit Pretorius, will order an investigation into the allegations involving Naik, and the Municipal Manager, Trevor Botha, will follow suit by ordering an investigation into allegations involving officials.
Council gave the green light for these processes to commence.
The investigations will be conducted by external legal service providers. Since two senior officials are involved, an independent investigator from outside the borders of the Western Cape will be appointed to investigate the allegations of misconduct in terms of the disciplinary regulations for senior managers. The outcome of Council's decision had to reach Bredell yesterday, 5 February.
Virgill Gericke of the PBI said his party fears the blame will be shifted to the officials.
"I gave them [DA] one hell of a fight, because they want to implicate officials who acted on instruction of their superiors, who in turn followed orders from the politicians. They want to divert attention from the real corruption by shaming people who were merely acting on instructions."
Botha and Erasmus
Another confidential item, in which Council had to consider the precautionary suspension of Municipal Manager Trevor Botha and Director of Protection Services Steven Erasmus, relates to a letter written by Bredell late last year.
According to Edwards-Klose, Council has taken a decision that precautionary suspension of the officials is not required in this matter.
Since the matter was dealt with behind closed doors it was not possible to establish exactly what the matter entails, but according to various sources it is directly linked to a list of complaints submitted to Bredell by DA Councillor Cecil Noble, in which he addressed the way traffic chief Donovan Saptoe has been treated. Saptoe has been suspended since October last year.
Read previous articles:
- George council meeting in full swing
- DA suspends George mayor
- 'Prepare for a bombshell'
- DA caucus votes Naik must go
- DA accused of selective action after gunning for Mayor
- 'Dirty' money in war on waste
- DA lays criminal charges against Mayor, senior officials
- DA wants to suspend mayor following damning report
- Municipal investigations: Game of thrones
- MEC and MM lock horns
- Minister responds to statement by Municipal Manager
- Municipal Manager responds to investigation report
- Mayor welcomes investigation, Municipal Manager questions motives
- Bredell orders investigation into George Municipality
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