A letter to The Herald from Retief Odendaal, DA councillor, Ward 6, Port Elizabeth
IT is no secret that the Kabuso Report played a significant role in the political demise of former mayor Nondumiso Maphazi. Ironically, it now seems as if history might just repeat itself as the current mayor is slowly but surely committing political suicide by refusing to release the now infamous forensic report.
When mayor Zanoxolo Wayile assumed office he vowed to root out corruption and maladministration in our ailing institution.
Today, some two years later, the mayor appears to be doing everything in his ability to protect the individuals implicated in the Kabuso Report, the very individuals responsible for the demise of Maphazi.
The report came into being when Maphazi requested the MEC for local government and traditional affairs to investigate maladministration and fraud in our municipality in terms of Section 106 of the Systems Act.
The findings of this investigation were given to the MEC, who in turn handed it to Wayile in order for him to take appropriate action.
The mayor has since decided against releasing the report to council, opting rather to provide council with a scant summation contained in a few watered down pages of what he no doubt thought was important – or even worse, what he thought council should be allowed to see.
Those in the know and who have had sight of the document are utterly dumbstruck by the fact that certain key issues and facts of the original report were simply ignored or left out in this “synopsis”.
Kabuso has implicated a number of individuals, both officials and high-ranking politicians, in fraudulent activities which would necessitate criminal charges being brought against them. Apart from the moral obligation placed upon the mayor to institute appropriate action when he becomes aware of fraudulent activities, one can’t help but wonder whether he is now also above the law since he seems hell-bent on ignoring a number of unambiguous legislative requirements imposed on him in respect of these fraudulent activities.
One is therefore left to assume that the umbilical cord between City Hall and Standard House is one that appears very hard to sever. I can, however, hardly believe that an individual of the mayor’s calibre would voluntary commit political suicide to protect a few corrupt individuals who have looted the public purse.
Quo vadis, Mr Mayor? Surely it is high time we allow justice to run its course. Why protect those who have selfishly lined their own pockets at the expense of the poorest of the poor who look to you to deliver their promised better life?
Release the Kabuso Report forthwith, restore credibility to your office and afford those incriminated their democratic right to present their case to court. Alternatively, instruct the municipal manager to respond to the DA’s recent application in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act by furnishing us with a full copy of the report so we can proceed to lay the necessary criminal charges.
Retief Odendaal, DA councillor, Ward 6, Port Elizabeth