Trollip opens criminal case against Nelson Mandela Bay acting city boss

DA councillor Athol Trollip explains his reasons for opening a case at the Humewood police station with Constable Naledi Ntoto on Thursday.
DA councillor Athol Trollip explains his reasons for opening a case at the Humewood police station with Constable Naledi Ntoto on Thursday.
Image: Michael Kimberley

Nelson Mandela Bay councillor Athol Trollip opened criminal cases against acting city manager Nobuntu Mpongwana and housing delivery director Mvuleni Mapu.

Trollip, who was at the Humewood Police Station on Wednesday, said Mpongwana and Mapu had committed a criminal offence by allegedly obstructing the course of justice.

During a three-day stint as acting city manager, Mapu told Gray Moodliar Inc in a letter to postpone any cases coming up in court with the trial against Erastyle meant to start in two weeks’ time in October.

The municipality is suing Erastyle — owned by businessman Fareed Fakir — for about R8m, claiming the payment made to the company for the bus system’s marketing campaign was irregular and unlawful as no tender processes had been followed.

The municipality is also going after five other companies in the hopes of recovering millions of rand it believes was plundered by the firms from the budget meant to develop the city’s bus system.

The other five companies are Access Facilities and Leisure Management, Afrisec Strategic Solutions, Heerkos Projects, Le Roux Inc and Distinctive Trading.

This is a deliberate stratagem to prevent the IPTS matters from proceeding
Athol Trollip

“The effect of Mapu's instruction to hold matters in abeyance and/or obtain postponements ... continues to result in the municipality incurring fruitless and wasteful expenditure,” Trollip said in a statement given to the police.

“This is a deliberate stratagem to prevent the IPTS matters from proceeding.”

Trollip said Mapu's decision breached the Local Government Municipal Systems Act which states that a city manager is guilty of an offence if they fail to take all reasonable steps to prevent unauthorised, irregular or fruitless and wasteful expenditure.

Mpongwana herself is the seventh defendant in the Afrisec Strategic Solutions [case] where the municipality has issued summons against her for R34m for breaching her fiduciary duty to the municipality.”

“Mpongwana's instruction in her capacity as acting city manager, that the Afrisec matter must be held in abeyance constitutes a defendant, purporting to act on behalf of the plaintiff municipality, and issuing instruction to the plaintiff's attorney that it must not proceed against her. This is unlawful.”

Trollip said Mpongwana and Mapu's decision had led to the stalling of the IPTS cases.

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