The eThekwini council is to respond today, Wednesday 29 February 2012, at a council meeting to allegations raised in the Manase and Associates report, which revealed R2.2-billion in irregular expenditure over a three-year period and implicates some high-ranking municipal officials and politicians.
The council was given 21 days to respond to the closely guarded 700-page forensic report. It’s expected to put forward suggestions on how to address some of the problems raised in the report in terms of the city's processes that led to the irregular expenditure, and to make suggestions of action against identified officials.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) warned on Tuesday, however, that it would take legal action should the metro not publically release the document at the council meeting on Wednesday.
The Manase report was given to Co-operative Governance MEC Nomusa Dube in December 2011 and then released to the mayor James Nxumalo recently.
The metro released a summarised version which implicated top officials, including former mayor Obed Mlaba, former city manager Michael Sutcliffe, treasurer Krish Kumar, city manager for infrastructure Derek Naidoo and head of housing Cogi Pather.
Both the media and the city's executive committee were only given copies of a media release.
The City of eThekwini’s executive committee members were given an in-depth presentation, but were never given copies of the report, which could implicate other officials or reveal further contraventions.
The DA last week launched an application in both the provincial legislature and eThekwini municipality to gain access to the full Manase report.
The party is also asking for two versions of an earlier report, the Ngubane report, which was commissioned by the metro’s accounting officer and never made public.
The Ngubane report was commissioned after a damning report by the Auditor-General for eThekwini's 2009/10 financial year.
DA caucus leader Tex Collins said they would pursue the application for access to the Manase report all the way to the Constitutional Court "if necessary".
"This would be the second report we have not been given access to and the fact is that R2.2-billion of tax-payers’ money has been misspent. We are not suggesting it was fraudulently done, but we do believe it needs to be addressed," he said.