The Herald takes you step by step through the process that finally saw the paper handed the Kabuso Report.
July 23 2009: The Nelson Mandela Bay council resolves to investigate allegations of mismanagement against municipal manager Graham Richards, for which forensic investigators Ramathe – formerly Ramathe Fivaz – are called upon to compile a report in September.
August: Reacting to the Richards probe, mayor Nondumiso Maphazi asks Local Government MEC Sicelo Gqobana to investigate a myriad of other irregularities by former and current councillors before her and Richards’s terms in office. Gqobana announces that Kabuso CC has been appointed to probe various land deals and other major contracts entered into by the municipality from 2003 to August 2009.
March 2010: Kabuso CC hands over its 175-page report to the department.
April 24: Gqobana responds to Richards’s attorneys’ request for the Kabuso report as it mentions Richards and could affect his then-ongoing disciplinary hearing. Gqobana said: “I cannot at this stage provide a copy of such report because it is not in the best interests of the provincial government … and Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality.”
June: The department misses its 90-day deadline, as prescribed by legislation, to make public and table the report in the provincial legislature and National Council of Provinces (NCOP).
October: Legal opinion by the department’s senior legal counsel – asked to go through the report when it was handed to the department in March – is finalised.
November 27: A provincial cabinet reshuffle sees Gqobana moved to the position of health MEC, and ANC provincial spokesman Mlibo Qoboshiyane brought in to replace him.
December 20: Qoboshiyane is briefed on the Kabuso report and his department’s legal opinions relating to its findings.
January 2011: A plan setting out the steps to be followed for the tabling of the Kabuso report is finalised.
March 18: The Herald and Weekend Post apply to the Port Elizabeth High Court to force the release of the report.
March 28: Qoboshiyane hands a condensed version of the report, with his department’s legal opinion on the findings, to the Nelson Mandela Bay mayoral committee and requests specific responses to it.
April 5: The Herald, having been shown the condensed report and legal opinion, publishes the explosive findings which implicate, among others, regional ANC head Nceba Faku and businessman Johann Dreyer.
May 20: Bay mayor Zanoxolo Wayile provides Qoboshiyane with a watered down plan of action against those implicated in the Kabuso report, but Qoboshiyane is not satisfied. June 22: Qoboshiyane writes to Wayile expressing concern over the “inadequate and incomplete manner in which the [municipality] dealt with the issues raised in the Kabuso report” and asks for a more detailed response from the mayor.
October 18: Despite the municipality being given until the end of August to provide adequate plans on how to deal with the Kabuso findings, nothing is forthcoming, and Qoboshiyane writes to council speaker Maria Hermans asking for the matter to be expedited.
October 20: Acting Judge Duncan Zolani Dukada rules that the full Kabuso report must be handed over to The Herald in five days.
October 21: Qoboshiyane has a meeting with Wayile, who confirms that a task team comprising three councillors has been established to ensure that new recommendations, which he is expected to announce today, will be carried out.