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By Enkosi Selane

Digital Journalist


SIU investigates two municipalities for ‘serious maladministration’ over street light deals

The SIU spokesperson confirmed that the investigation will cover illegal and unethical conduct by municipal officials and service providers allegedly involved in the procurement process.


The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) will investigate two municipalities in different provinces amid allegations of corruption over the procurement of street lights.

President Cyril Ramaphosa recently gave the SIU permission to investigate claims of “serious” maladministration in the Tokologo Local Municipality in Free State and the Sol Plaatjie Local Municipality in Northern Cape.

Investigation

The SIU has been tasked to retrieve financial losses incurred under the two municipalities due to allegations of corruption.

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The alleged irregularities have resulted in the municipalities collapsing into financial crises.

The SIU will look into the Tokologo municipality’s procurement of street lights under the project named, “Erection of 15 High Mast Lights”.

The investigating unit will further probe Sol Plaatjie municipality’s procurement of electrification project.

SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago indicated that the investigation will cover allegations of illicit activities and willful negligence spanning from April 2015 to April 2024.

“The SIU will also investigate any unauthorised, irregular, fruitless, or wasteful expenditure incurred by the department or the state,” he said.

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Investigating illegal conduct

Kganyago further confirmed that the investigation will cover illegal and unethical conduct by municipal officials and service providers allegedly involved in the procurement process.

“In line with the Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunals Act 74 of 1996 [SIU Act], the SIU will refer any evidence pointing to criminal conduct it uncovers during its investigations to the National Prosecuting Authority [NPA] for further action,” said Kganyago.

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Furthermore, Kganyago said the unit would also investigate whether there was any unlawful appropriation of public funds.

“In addition to investigating maladministration, malpractice, corruption and fraud, the SIU will identify system failures and make systematic recommendations to improve measures to prevent future losses.,” the spokesperson added.

Tokologo was among six local governments with financial difficulties resulting in the nonpayment o f salaries last year.

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