Calls for Giyani coun­cil dis­so­lu­tion over VBS saga

African Times - - Front Page - ISAAC RAMOTH­WALA

AL­LE­GA­TIONS of cor­rup­tion within the Giyani Lo­cal Mu­nic­i­pal­ity have given rise to calls for the coun­cil to be dis­solved and a new lead­er­ship elected.

The Gazankulu Lib­er­a­tion Congress in the Greater Giyani Lo­cal Mu­nic­i­pal­ity is lead­ing the charge and has al­ready started the process to ef­fect the change.

Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral Gift Maswan­ganyi said they have in­structed the le­gal team of their griev­ances which should be pre­sented be­fore the Court.

“There are many is­sues in this Mu­nic­i­pal­ity that are ur­gent. Cor­rup­tion is very rife, there is no ser­vice de­liv­ery which is why there are ser­vice de­liv­ery protests ev­ery Mon­day for roads and wa­ter sup­plies to men­tion a few. There was a con­tract in re­la­tion to Giyani wa­ter cri­sis and the labour­ers have not been paid and they are al­ways pick­et­ing at that premises. We feel the Mu­nic­i­pal­ity has con­tra­vened and are in trans­gres­sion of their man­date,” Maswan­ganyi said.

He added that the only op­tion they were left with is to seek a court or­der that would com­pel them to dis­solve the mu­nic­i­pal­ity and grant them an op­por­tu­nity to hold by-elec­tions for the mu­nic­i­pal­ity to have a new Coun­cil.

“The cur­rent Coun­cil is still re­spon­si­ble for their in­vest­ment of the R158 Mil­lion in the VBS Mu­tual bank. That is very bad for a mu­nic­i­pal­ity that is not able to pro­vide ser­vices for the peo­ple. We can­not sus­tain our pa­tience over peo­ple who are not ready to serve,” he said.

Maswan­ganyi said that democ­racy is not prac­tised at the mu­nic­i­pal­ity as they do not en­ter­tain let­ters from par­ties out­side the ANC and on be­half of their masses. he said they have con­sid­ered the Court route and will later em­bark on a mass ac­tion.

He said that op­po­si­tion par­ties such as the ACDP and the EFF shared the same sen­ti­ments but the EFF wanted the mo­tion to be put un­der their ban­ner which they did not agree upon.

“We are up in arms as the GLC to fight for the rights of the peo­ple who are marginal­ized be­cause the democ­racy sys­tem is not ben­e­fit­ting peo­ple in Giyani but only a few in­di­vid­u­als. The ten­der sys­tems have been col­o­nized and do not work for our peo­ple hence we are go­ing to act around the mat­ter,” Maswan­ganyi added.

EFF Coun­cil­lor at the Greater Giyani Lo­cal Mu­nic­i­pal­ity Peter Mab­u­lana said that they will sup­port the by-elec­tions sug­ges­tion when taken to Court since it was also on their cards but would not sup­port the idea of dis­solv­ing the mu­nic­i­pal­ity since ser­vices have to be ren­dered to the peo­ple. He said cor­rup­tion was rife.

“Through our ef­forts, the CFO and the Tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor are now on sus­pen­sion and we are cur­rently push­ing for a no-con­fi­dence mo­tion against the Mayor and the Speaker be­cause they are the ones per­pet­u­at­ing cor­rup­tion at this mu­nic­i­pal­ity. Other po­lit­i­cal par­ties promised to sup­port the mo­tion and we are also hav­ing ANC Coun­cil­lors who are will­ing to rally be­hind us should the mat­ter be put be­fore the Coun­cil,” Mab­u­lana said

But the Spokesper­son for the Mu­nic­i­pal­ity Steven Mabunda dis­missed all the claims by the par­ties and said that the ut­ter­ances were pub­lic­ity stunts by the Gazankulu Lib­er­a­tion Congress.

“I sus­pect that the Gazankulu Lib­er­a­tion move­ment was only al­lied just for pop­u­lar­ity by the in­cum­bent. They are a new or­ga­ni­za­tion that is eye­ing some seats in the Coun­cil in the near fu­ture. The is­sues that the protests in our mu­nic­i­pal­ity re­volve around are the is­sues of the tar roads and we are not re­spon­si­ble for that, Road Agency Lim­popo and the pro­vin­cial Pub­lic Works are re­spon­si­ble in this re­gard,” Mabunda said.

He said that it was no se­cret that the mu­nic­i­pal­ity was among those mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties that have in­vested money with VBS Mu­tual Bank. Sev­eral mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties in the prov­ince have lost R1 bil­lion of tax­pay­ers money that was ir­reg­u­larly in­vested in VBS. They in­clude Giyani, Vhembe Dis­trict Mu­nic­i­pal­ity, Tu­batse/Fe­tak­gomo, and Elias Mot­soaledi. The money was di­verted from mu­nic­i­pal projects to the bank in breach of Na­tional Trea­sury reg­u­la­tions. Re­serve Bank Gov­er­nor Le­setja Kganyago placed the bank un­der cu­ra­tor ship in March af­ter it failed to pay its in­vestors. A probe by the ad­min­is­tra­tor later re­vealed that about R900 mil­lion could not be ac­counted for.

It is al­leged that some se­nior politi­cians in Lim­popo had pock­eted a four per­cent com­mis­sion from VBS in ex­change for in­struct­ing the mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties to in­vest in the bank. Sources say some of the mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties are on the verge of fail­ing to pay salaries fol­low­ing the VBS scan­dal.

Pic­ture: Le­bo­gang Mak­wela/Visu­alBuzz SA

Gazankulu Lib­er­a­tion Congress sec­re­tary gen­eral Gift Maswan­gany says there is cor­rup­tion and poor ser­vice de­liv­ery at the Giyani Mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

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