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Durban – THE immediate suspension of Ugu City Manager Dhanpalan Naidoo following allegations of corruption and bidding fraud against local council officials in a damning forensic report was “expected for a long time, ”the opposition political parties declared yesterday.
Ugu Municipality spokeswoman France Zama said a decision was made at a special council meeting to suspend Naidoo with immediate effect.
The decision comes after a damning forensic report, commissioned by the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, detailing allegations of bidding fraud, financial misconduct and paying ghost employees to the board. According to the report, which was presented to council last month, an amount of R300 million was also siphoned from the municipality’s bank account.
DA Ugu caucus leader Leonard Ngcobo hailed the suspension as “long overdue” and called for the immediate termination of contractors involved in the report.
“Taxpayers’ money has been mismanaged, embezzled and looted without any consequences. This resulted in the collapse of water and sanitation provision to businesses and residents, ”Ngcobo said.
IFP Ugu adviser Sfundo Ngwane said the decision was overdue because Naidoo should have been suspended “some time ago even before this investigation.”
“… After the report was handed over to the municipality, the ANC advisers were playing hide and seek… because they did not want to suspend it. The IFP had to push for the immediate suspension of the city manager, ”he said.