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Sat Jul 30 18:57:52 SAST 2016

DA to lay criminal charges against ANC municipal office-bearers

TMG Digital | 28 January, 2016 10:51
DA flag.
Image by: Gallo Images

The Democratic Alliance (DA) will on Thursday lay criminal charges against African National Congress (ANC) officials in two different municipalities.

Beaufort West constituency head Sharna Fernandez will open a corruption case against mayor Truman Prince following the publication of a letter he wrote to Construction‚ Education and Training Authority chairperson Raymond Cele.

In the missive‚ he requested Cele “transfer the responsibility for the tender process to the municipality‚ so that they could hire construction companies ‘sympathetic to the ANC’‚ who would finance the coming Local Government Elections”‚ Fernandez alleged.

Prince wrote: "We are an ANC-led municipality‚ we are therefore in need of financial injection for our 2016 Local Government Election campaign and therefore will also want to see construction companies sympathetic and having a relationship with the ANC to benefit‚ in order for these companies to inject funds in our election campaign process."

He later denied any wrongdoing: "I wrote that letter stating that to have this investment we must use our local procurement...

“I never asked for money but I was saying if this skills centre becomes a reality we want to use our own procurement to get our local entrepreneurs and BEE companies the opportunity to transform the economy of Beaufort West‚ from the white regime to black entrepreneurs‚ in order to boost the economy."

But Fernandez said on Thursday: “It is clear that the ANC‚ will go to any extent including robbing state coffers for party campaigns‚ to hold onto power.

“South Africans are bearing the brunt of corrupt ANC officials lining their coffers with state resources meant for the poor.”

Fernandez’s Karoo counterpart Annette Lovemore “will lay criminal charges against the acting municipal manager of Ikwezi‚ based on his grossly negligent handling of the municipality’s finances”.

The charge‚ warned Lovemore‚ “carries a possible five-year jail sentence”.

“The Ikwezi municipality had to rely on a loan from the Sarah Baartman District Municipality to be able to pay salaries this week‚” she said.

“This is a repeat of exactly the same situation in June last year and the year before‚ as well as in October last year.”

Lovemore said that nothing had come of three previous criminal charges of fraud and corruption it had laid against the municipal manager and his then-legal advisor.

“Local residents and municipal staff have suffered enough at the hands of the current regime‚” Lovemore said.

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