Fraud charges fot Komani top brass

DA councillor Malibongwe Xhelisilo and DA MP Terri Stander open a case against municipal leaders at the Komani police station.
DA councillor Malibongwe Xhelisilo and DA MP Terri Stander open a case against municipal leaders at the Komani police station.
Image: Tembile Sgqolana

DA MP Terri Stander yesterday opened a fraud and corruption case against Enoch Mgijima municipality mayor Sisisi Tolashe, her predecessor Lindiwe Gunuza-Nkwentsha and current and former top officials.

Stander opened the case against Tolashe, Gunuza-Nkwentsha, former acting municipal managers Nolwandle Gqiba, Siyabonga Nkonki, Mziwoxolo Dingani, incumbent Chris Magwangqana, former chief financial officer Nomthandazo Ntshanga, former acting CFO Thomas Abrafo and council speaker Mzoxolo Peter for activities that she says have been occurring at the municipality since August 16 2016.

Stander was assisted by Komani police station’s Captain Sipho Xhalabile, who said the docket would be sent to the Hawks in East London for investigation.

Speaking outside the police station, Stander said she had singled out the politicians and officials because under their watch, the municipality had failed to deliver services and corruption had been rife.

“The ANC is aware of the matter and I have personally written to cooperative governance and traditional affairs [Cogta] MEC Fikile Xasa, [Cogta] minister Zweli Mkhize and finance minister Nhlanhla Nene, but they have done nothing to solve the problem.”

The municipality has been struggling to pay its debts and this has resulted in Milowo Trading Enterprise auctioning municipal assets as a way of recouping the millions it is owed for building a community hall in Sterkstroom.

“The municipality has indicated that it has paid Eskom and Milowo Trading Enterprise but that will not address the issues that led to the debt.

“Those that are responsible for the debt must be held to account,” Stander said.

In her affidavit submitted to the police, Stander said 10 councillors who were remunerated wrongly for 10 months as full-time councillors, costing R3.3-million in irregular expenditure, had not repaid the money to the municipality.

“Speaker Mzoxolo Peter has failed to ensure that the debt owed by councillors is paid.

“The accommodation and legal fees of former mayor Lindiwe Gunuza-Nkwentsha are paid by the municipality.

“The tuition fees of seven former Enoch Mgijima councillors to Fort Hare University and the car hire of the mayoral vehicle are among issues that need to be investigated,” she said.

Municipal spokesman Fundile Feketshane declined to comment, saying he was unaware of the case.