Documents of how she splurged R2.1 million in 29 days amid the municipality’s financial crisis appeared this week.
eMalahleni mayor Lindiwe Ntshalintshali’s troubles are far from over.
Now the DA is heading to the Auditor-General to ask him to investigate R21 million that was spent on a company called Track Optimum International between 4 October and 2 November 2016 to protect her private residence in Phola, at R64 350 00 of tax payers’ money per day.
This is during the time when municipal manager Theo van Vuuren and Ntshalintshali were making news – for channelling service delivery money towards the purchase a Lexus SUV for Ntshalintshali.
Van Vuuren also created controversy after he splurged R20 million for 20 bodyguards to protect him and other senior staff in 2013.
The owner of the company said to have supplied Van Vurren with bodyguards in 2013 – Verne Clark – is the same guy at the centre of the new Ntshalintshali controversy.
Verne Clark owns Track Optimum International.
“Both Mr Van Vuuren and councillor Ntshalintshali have brought nothing but misery and gross financial mismanagement to eMalahleni,” the DA’s Dumisile Masuku said.
“Van Vuuren has left eMalahleni municipality technically bankrupt and his departure should be followed by that of mayor Ntshalintshali. It is time that eMalahleni gets new administration that will put the best interest of the residents first,” Masuku said.
But Ntshalintshali said she is not responsible for the awarding of tenders in the municipality.
Through her spokesperson, Kingdom Mabuza, the mayor said: ” Tenders are awarded by officials after following supply chain processes.
“The said company, Track Optimum International, was appointed last year in September, after some community members at Phola forcefully and violently occupied houses which were built by South 32 mine.
“The houses were supposed to be allocated to beneficiaries as per the housing list, but the mob wanted that housing waiting list to be disregarded.
“The mob resorted to attacking a municipal building and fire station with petrol bombs,” Mabuza said.
“They then proceeded in a march to the home of the mayor and councillors whose homes are in Phola. The street leading to the home of the mayor was blocked with burning tyres, waste bins, and stones were thrown and the Directorate Community Services, after consulting SAPS and Intelligence officials, found it imperative to appoint a specialised VIP Security Service to protect the executive mayor’s home, councillors’ homes in the area and the municipal building, on an emergency basis. Track Optimum International was then appointed in terms of section 36 of the Local Government, Municipal Finance Management Regulations,” he said.
(edited by ZK)
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