The Democratic Alliance (DA) has submitted an application in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA), to receive access to the hidden forensic report pertaining R120 million which was illegally invested by Collins Chabane Municipality into the disgraced VBS Mutual Bank which cannot be accounted for.
The DA initiated the call for forensic investigations into the VBS debacle in order to hold the implicated officials and politicians liable for these illegal investments.
The investigations were completed a long time ago but the report has been withheld as it will in all likelihood pinpoint several senior officials and politicians who played a significant role in the investment.
To compound the matter, municipal officials have allegedly tampered with the original report by drafting their own report, opting to omit crucial information that reveal the names of the implicated officials. Such behaviour should be seen as an active attempt to protect officials and shield them from accountability.
Our attempts to get the original version, as well as the second edited version of the report, have been fruitless. It is clear that the Municipality is trying to hide some details and has failed to be transparent.
The DA is deeply concerned that tax payers money was used to conduct these investigations but that we have been denied an opportunity to interrogate and debate these reports in council.
It is abundantly clear that this illegal investment into VBS has compromised the financial health of the municipality as well as its ability to deliver services to the residents.
Through the PAIA application, the DA is making it clear to the municipality that transparency and a commitment to good governance must not be compromised to protect corrupt cadres and officials. The DA will not rest until all those accountable for the VBS scandal face the consequences for their misconduct.
The municipality has 30 days to respond to our PAIA application. The DA will interrogate these reports and demand timeframes in relation to the implementation of the findings in the report. We will also not hesitate to lay further criminal charges, should it be necessary.
The DA will not sit back and allow the ANC-led administration to loot the public coffers. We will ensure that municipal money is directed towards ensuring that our residents have proper service delivery.
Issued by The DA