The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) has confirmed that the uThukela District Municipality was visited by the Hawks and the SAPS last week in search of documents that might help them in an investigation.
In a media statement on the uThukela Municipality Facebook page, they that confirmed that police police officers in plain clothes “invaded” its premises on Wednesday, (5 December) and took in one official for questioning.
“They have also searched and confiscated certain documents from the Finance Department. The officers also had a closed meeting with the senior management of the municipality regarding certain issues of administration,” said the statement.
This was the second raid by the Hawks of the municipality in as many weeks. Police first conducted a search of the building on 29 November, seizing documents in relation to water tankers after producing a search and seizure warrant dated 27 November from the Political Violence Task Team with specific reference to case registered at the Estcourt police.
Police further requested job descriptions of the mayor’s bodyguards, the sale agreement for the municipality building situated on Lylle Street that was purchased in the 2015/16 financial year, proof that the councillor was authorised to utilise the council vehicle and poof that vandalism on the council’s water infrastructure was properly investigated.
Other high ranking officials of the municipality were apparently questioned by the Hawks in relation to the investigation. Meanwhile, employees at the municipality alleged that those who were being questioned by the police were being harassed and threatened. No arrests were made.
Nomsa Dube-Ncube, KZN MEC, for Cogta, said in a statement: “We have been informed by our administrator deployed to uThukela district, since this municipality is currently under a provincial government intervention in terms of Section 139 of the Constitution, that this activity by the Hawks has indeed taken place, and that some interactions with some of the officials. We maintains that the Hawks are a highly competent law enforcement agency and are assured of the full cooperation from stakeholders in municipalities.”
“She called for cooperation with the law enforcement agencies. “We ask at this stage that law enforcement agencies are allowed to deal with their processes and that no premature conclusion should be drawn without all the due processes having been concluded. The municipality continues to function optimally by rendering services to communities as required by the constitution.
“We have faith in all our law enforcement agencies performing their duties without fear, favour and prejudice and we support all efforts aimed at promoting good and clean governance in all public institutions including the private sector,” said Dube-Ncube.
The Facebook post book was later removed and no comment was forthcoming from uThukela.