Knysna Municipality is a battle zone. It’s full of the ghosts and the bleeding. In between are skeletons. The latest of many to be unearthed are allegations of corruption against Chief Financial Officer Mbulelo Memani and ANC Deputy Mayor Aubrey Tsengwa. The author in the 4-page letter below is (now suspended) Municipal Manager Sitembele Vatala.
Vatala is scarred by complaints too. However, here it must be explained why Memani wasn’t suspended and investigated by an independent contractor. It must be uncovered why, instead, Vatala was suspended. There is also no record in Council regarding the accused Tsengwa.
Fattening those questions were yesterday’s suspensions of two staff members who allegedly leaked information.
One is a senior working for Memani in his Finance department. She’s rumoured to be in his bad books owing to her requests for investigation into several matters.
The other was strangely from the Technical department. Is point ‘s’ below related? It mentions Memani trying to force approval for a R12-million contract that Technical wasn’t aware of, but was supposed to have been. The tender may involve water meters.
Why did Acting Municipal Manager Michele Gratz immediately march the two ‘leaky’ staff out of the building, seemingly protecting Memani again?
Who compiled the report mentioned below?
Although not the biggest amount mentioned, the highlight may be the suspicion that ANC Deputy Mayor Aubrey Tsengwa has been involved in fraud. If that’s true, it could possibly explain why the ANC has protected CFO Memani. It could also explain why the ANC is against the DA plot to put the town under administration, with AMM Gratz becoming Administrator, yet bizarrely supports Gratz too:
“Tsengwa trading as Civil was paid on 12 December 2019 an amount of R50,000 and again aid on 20 December 2019 an amount of R61,875. It is alleged that the Deputy Mayor receives kick backs from this entity.”
Note that all 6 staff members haven’t being found guilty. Unfortunately, the seniors involved refuse to comment and the juniors cannot as it could cost them their jobs. That’s an unfair equation and encourages the suspicion of guilt on the elders.
I’d hoped that ANC Western Cape Leader Cameron Dugmore or the DA Federal Executive would respond but they’ve ignored me for over a week. I can only assume that both parties, as they always have, support Knysna being crippled.
Note the final line (you can comment on my Love Knysna Facebook page):
“These are just a few [allegations] from six page report that was submitted to my office.”