AfriForum laid a charge of corruption, fraud and financial mismanagement with the counter-corruption unit of the SAPS, the Hawks, against the acting Municipal Manager in Oudtshoorn, Mr Ronnie Lottering, various officials and members of the public. This came after members of the public submitted proof of alleged irregularities to AfriForum.
“Residents are fed up with the way in which the ANC coalition is using various delay tactics to disrupt stability in the municipal management, and then use this instability to strip state coffers,” said George Kersop, Chairperson of the AfriForum branch in Oudtshoorn.
Proof of questionable payments of more than R5 million was given to AfriForum, upon which an affidavit was submitted to the Hawks in Cape Town on 1 October 2013. Various officials allegedly refused to authorise payments to companies who had been awarded contracts under questionable circumstances. Payments were allegedly made to companies who had never rendered any services. The most recent payment of R482 000 was made on 25 September 2013.
“AfriForum appeals to councillors, municipal employees and residents to make information on corruption, fraud and mismanagement available, and we will do everything in our power to ensure that the guilty parties are brought to justice and reimburse taxpayers,” Kersop said.
The Finance Director at National Treasury was requested to suspend all payments and send a team of auditors to investigate payments. Mr Anton Bredell, Minister of Local Government Affairs, was also informed of the events.
“We believe that we will be as successful as in Cederberg. Our information is that the same individuals who were involved in irregularities in Cederberg and Stellenbosch are also involved in Oudtshoorn,” said Pieter Rautenbach, Head of Local Government Affairs at AfriForum.