The Democratic Alliance has expressed its dismay at the revelation that the Makana (Grahamstown) Municipal Manager, Dr. Pravine Naidoo, allegedly received a R3 million payout in settlement of a lawsuit against the municipality.
This payout was apparently authorised by the Mayor and the Speaker without the knowledge of council, and is in stark contrast to the findings of Labour Court, which found against Dr. Naidoo and awarded costs to the municipality.
The payout, which occurred in July 2013, was one of the causes of the labour unrest and financial woes the municipality is currently experiencing.
In a further twist, the strategic adviser to the Mayor, Mr. Mncedisi Boma (who coincidentally is the regional head of the ANC) authorised the payment of Dr. Naidoo’s legal costs from council funds.
Neither payment was approved by the Makana municipal council, which is awaiting legal advice on the matter, and therefore qualifies as irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure, and should be recovered from the parties concerned. Mr. Boma does not have delegated authority to make such payments.
“I will be requesting the Public Protector to conduct a comprehensive forensic investigation into this matter, and the corresponding misuse of municipal finances” said Kevin Mileham, leader of the DA in Makana.
“The Democratic Alliance has proven its capacity to govern in a clean, responsible manner, and should be afforded the opportunity to clean up the mess the ANC has left Makana in,” added Mileham.