Hawks to probe R15m stadium in Enoch Mgijima municipality

08 October 2021 - 13:50
By Iavan Pijoos
The Lesseyton Sports Facility in Enoch Mgijima municipality.
Image: Supplied The Lesseyton Sports Facility in Enoch Mgijima municipality.

The Hawks have launched an investigation into the controversial R15m Lesseyton Sports Facility built in the Enoch Mgijima municipality.

The facility near Komani (formerly Queenstown) received massive backlash when it was unveiled this week.

Images posted on social media showed a dry, bumpy field, small metal stands, and soccer and rugby uprights.

Enoch Mgijima municipality spokesperson Lonwabo Kowa said earlier this week the project was justified, and that the council had made a significant investment in the rural village to support sports activities in the area.

Kowa said the R15m spent was not just for what was seen in the pictures that were circulating; not only were there construction-related expenses but also initial “survey, geotechnical and geohydrological tests” to determine if the site was suitable as a sports facility.

While the municipality has defended the project, Eastern Cape co-operative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) MEC Xolile Nqatha demanded answers.

The Chris Hani District municipality — under which the Enoch Mgijima local council falls — has also expressed concern.

Spokesperson Buli Ganyaza said district mayor Wongama Gela would be taking up the matter with the local municipality

Hawks spokesperson Brig Nomthandazo Mbambo said the probe was launched after a complaint was lodged against the municipality.

“The Hawks would like to [offer the assurance] that the matter is receiving the necessary attention.

“The probe is still in its infancy stages, and as soon as all statements and necessary documents have been obtained and perused, the matter will be referred to the director for public prosecutions for decision [on whether] to prosecute,” Mbambo said.