The governing coalition of the ANC and the African Independent Congress (AIC) in the City of Ekurhuleni hangs in the balance, due to the way the ANC dealt with the terms of suspension of senior official Pauline Ngakane, allegedly involved in irregular multimillion-rand tenders.
The AIC yesterday expressed outrage at the manner in which the ANC has dealt with the conditions of Ngakane’s suspension, threatening to pull out of the coalition “if the ANC does not get its house in order”.
Pressure has been mounting on the ANC-led council to decisively deal with Ngakane, who has been suspended with full pay.
The tenders in question included the appointment of “accredited training service providers” to train early childhood development practitioners from 2017 until mid-2019.
According to SA Communist Party activist Ndzipo Kalipa, who blew the lid on Ngakane’s alleged irregular deals, the service provider who won the bid provided “unaccredited training – a waste of taxpayer’s money”.
Kalipa also lodged an official complaint with the Council for Social Service Professions for “unethical and corrupt behaviour involving fraudulent tenders”.
Incensed by a suspension he described as a “window dressing” and “a sabbatical or a holiday” for Ngakane, AIC spokesperson Mxolisi Koom said his party would table a motion in the next council sitting to pull out of the coalition with the ANC if punitive measures were not taken.
Koom said: “This is despicable because we wanted a punitive suspension in the light of prima facie evidence, which speaks volumes on the level of corruption she is alleged to have been involved in.
“While we appreciate the suspension, we are uncomfortable with the suspension conditions, which are unprocedural.
“The manner in which the suspension was conducted leaves much to be desired because the terms, which should have been put in place, should have included forfeiture of her vehicle, laptop and cellphone.
“By being in possession of a council car, laptop and a cellphone, she has access to the office – making the suspension spurious.
“The AIC wants an independent investigation and forensic audit to be conducted, with the report written by an independent entity.”
The AIC, said Koom, would engage with other political parties in the metro to push for “a punitive suspension”.
Sources said Ngakane was this week seen in the company of service providers and members of the mayoral committee at her Benoni home, shortly after being suspended.
Metro spokesperson Nhlanhla Cebekhulu denied that Ngakane still had the council vehicle, laptop and cellphone.
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