Msunduzi’s legal battle over tender for private security firm drags on

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A legal battle over a R23 million tender between Msunduzi and a private security company is likely to last much longer if the municipality does not present its counterclaim.

Sources with intimate knowledge of the matter alleged that the municipality’s leaders were dragging their feet in dealing with it to protect political allies, but Msunduzi Mayor Mzimkhulu Thebolla dismissed that claim.

It is alleged that all information regarding this security offer has been submitted to the municipality, but the city has yet to draft a counterclaim for the case to proceed.

A report on the tender, which covered the period between May 2019 and May 2020, was recently presented to Msunduzi’s counsel as part of the confidential material. According to the agenda for the meeting, Msunduzi has yet to file a plea to the security company‘s counterclaim.

The source said:

This particular case dates back to 2009 and has not been resolved. We are now talking about a 2019/2020 folder which is an escalation to previous folders. We confronted the municipality’s internal investigation unit to try to understand if the cases they are dealing with are progressing. The answer we get is dead.

Municipality sources said it was just one of many cases that Msunduzi officials have been forced to turn a blind eye to due to political pressure and fear of a violent backlash. they were pursuing these investigations or legal actions.

The results [on the security tender investigation], which weren’t supposed to have been available to us, revealed that the company had asked for things they didn’t have. The guns he said his security guards had weren’t there. There were no dogs, no two-way radios and even when security levels were checked, security guards in designated areas did not have the levels they claimed to have. It was fraud.

Mayor Thebolla denied that city leaders were dragging their feet on the issue, adding that the details of the security contract and the investigation into it were not a secret.

“Only the relevant agencies can make this final, but we as a municipality cannot be drawn or expected to close the case because it has legalities, and we want to see anyone wrongfully prosecuted. We have suspended people over this case and the person who turned out to be at the center of the case has since died… Let the rule of law take its course Our response last week was official We wish everything do in accordance with the laws that govern our municipality,” said Thebolla.

Municipal spokesman Ntobeko Mkhize said last week that he had taken note of investigations into allegations of fraud and maladministration in the municipality.

Our main goal is to preserve every penny for the sole purpose of strengthening service delivery. Msunduzi Municipality leaders across all political lines are encouraged to work with all communities to promote good governance, integrity and most importantly to work with the private sector to ensure good governance. At this stage we are bound by the rules of confidentiality not to give details [about] all ongoing investigations.

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