ANC trying to hide something in eThekwini audit report: Zille
Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille has accused the African National Congress of trying to cover up the findings of the eThekweni municipality's controversial Manase audit report.
Zille, who received a rousing welcome when she arrived at the packed Lamontville community hall on Sunday, said the party would use the country's highest courts to force the municipality to release the full report.
She said she would e-mail, fax and write a letter to President Jacob Zuma about having the full report released.
"The ANC is hiding something here. We will not rest until we know what the ANC is hiding," she said to loud cheers.
The eThekwini municipality has refused to release the full contents of the Manase forensic report on fraud and corruption.
An abridged version of the report was released by KwaZulu-Natal co-operative governance MEC Nomusa Dube in February. The city was supposed to release the full report in July.
The probe by the auditing firm Manase and Associates was instituted by Dube after Auditor General Terence Nombembe said in his 2009/10 report that R532 million had been irregularly spent by the municipality.
The investigation also contained accusations against a number of senior officials.
It found that 10 councillors had business interests with entities which conducted business with the eThekwini Municipality.
Zille said the probe was not created by the opposition parties, but was instituted by Dube, a member of the ANC.
"It was funded by taxpayers' money and we have a right to know [what is in the report]," she said.
She said claims that disciplinary proceedings and legal proceedings would be prejudiced if the full report was released were unfounded.
Zille said the only legal action taken so far was by former city manager Mike Sutcliffe, who was suing current city manager Sibusiso Sithole for R10 million about comments he made after the report was compiled.
She said that where necessary, the names of people could be deleted until legal and disciplinary processes had been completed.
Zille she did not expect any response to her request to Zuma, except the standard "your request is receiving attention".
She said the fastest response she had received from Zuma was his refusal to engage her in a public debate about the state of the nation's economy.
"He's not snubbing me. He's snubbing the people of South Africa. You can ignore me, but you can't ignore the voters," she said, adding that voters would tire of electing a corrupt government.
She said she suspected Zuma's failure to heed her request to pass a law that would prevent members of government from having business interests was due to the fact that such a law would cost him votes at the ANC's elective conference in Mangaung in December.