By Emily Setona
QWAQWA – The newly elected chairperson of the municipal public accounts committee (MPAC), Chikota ‘Chicco’ Mkhwanazi, has vowed to enlist the services of the SIU, Hawks and police, in his quest to root out corruption in Maluti-A-Phofung.
Mkhwanazi said this after his election as chairperson of MPAC during an ordinary sitting of the Maluti-A-Phofung council on Thursday last week. This was the council’s second sitting after adjournment on February 03.
“With the current state of affairs in MAP, I have a mammoth task on my hands. What I can say is that with regards to any fraudulent activities happening in the municipality, I will rope in the SIU, the Hawks and the police in order to conduct thorough investigations,” Mkhwanazi said in an interview with The Guard.
The Economic Freedom Fighters councilor said, in the pursuit of accountability, he will give his task team approximately three months to complete 80 percent of investigations that will be initiated by MPAC.
High on the council meeting’s agenda was the call to restore the integrity of the municipality by creating an MPAC and ad hoc Section 32 committees that will investigate fraud.
One of the key matters on the agenda was the creation of an MPAC task team that will deal with investigating fraudulent activities primarily in utility body MAP Water.
Chief Whip Moeketsi Lebesa presided over the process of selecting candidates that will make up the MPAC. The Chief Whip of each party nominated their candidates and councilors then voted for the chairperson of MPAC.
Sixty-seven councilors attended the sitting while three excused themselves. During the voting for the MPAC chairperson, disagreed on the manner of voting. ANC councillors proposed a secret ballot but were outvoted by those who preferred open voting. To settle the matter in the spirit of democracy, council speaker Paratlane Motloung ruled that the matter be taken to the vote by an immediate show of hands.
Thirty-nine councilors voted and 28 abstained. The results showed that 38 councillors preferred to vote for the MPAC chairperson by a show of hands, while one councillor voted for the secret ballot. A unanimous show of hands saw EFF leader Mkhwanazi – who was the only person nominated for the position of MPAC chairperson – garnering 38 votes.
The sitting was also concluded by resolving that given the high number of fraudulent activities taking place in MAP, ad hoc Section 32 committees should be established to investigate critical matters on the agenda. Written reports are to be produced for the next council sitting.