Not all Mazibuko’s alleged irregular projects to be probed

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An external investigator that will probe
allegations of irregularities on projects
that have led to the suspension of the
Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality’s
Municipal Manager, Sibongile Mazibuko,
will not investigate all three projects.
Mazibuko was suspended for thirty
days with full pay last Wednesday. 
Investigations have been conducted by
the ad hoc committee over allegations
of irregularities of millions of rand
in the Integrated Public Transport
Network (IPTN) system for Mangaung,
the Pine Haven and Lourier Park
projects. Mangaung Speaker, Mxolisi
Siyonzana, announced that Mazibuko
was on precautionary suspension and an
external investigator, Indira Kooverjee
Incorporated, will be conducting its own
investigation that will continue for thirty
days.
However, investigations will only focus
on two projects, the IPTN system and
Pine Haven, and not the Lourier Park
project. DA’s Hardie Viviers says it
was previously decided in council that
Lourier Park should be investigated and
now Siyonzana has changed his tune.
“When Siyonzana was asked about the
Lourier Park project, he mentioned that it
had been decided to condone it. Then we
pointed out that at the previous meeting
this project had been part of the agenda
and the decision was taken that all three
of the projects had to be investigated.
I then asked to see the minutes of the
meeting about when it was decided
that Lourier Park should be condoned.
Siyonzana exclaimed that I would not be
getting it. This decision about the Lourier
Park project is quite interesting,” he said.
Furthermore, council denied a request
by the DA to institute a forensic
investigation into Mazibuko’s
allegations.
This followed after the ANC council
members voted against a request from
opposition party members to alter
the scope of the investigation to a
forensic investigation. Viviers says
three companies were shortlisted for
the investigation. He says their choice –
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) – were
outvoted in council by the ANC.
The DA further claimed that Mazibuko’s
suspension was unlawful. According
to Viviers, the decision could lead to
possible legal and financial implications
that could cost the council in future.
He said Mazibuko was not given a fair
chance to appeal the decision and her
suspension letter was not signed by her
but by George Mohlakoana who was
acting on her behalf at the time.
“They suspended the municipal manager
unlawfully and we had no other choice
but to walk out of the meeting, because
we are not going to be part of unlawful
practices. In essence, the appointment
of the new acting municipal manager,
Tanksio Mae, is also unlawful,” said
Viviers. – Refilwe Gaeswe
refilwe@centralmediagroup.co.za