George Mayor, Melvin Naik, faces suspension after a forensic report, compiled by the Democratic Alliance (DA) found that he may have been involved in corruption.
Who is Melvin Naik?
Melvin Naik is described by his party as “an energetic person whose mature and responsible approach to any task makes him a great leader and problem-solver.”
A true Georgian at heart, Naik was born and raised in the Garden Route city. He has a wife and two children and by all accounts, is the typical all-South African.
He rose through the ranks of the DA to become the leader of a city he holds dear to his heart. However, his promise of turning George into the most innovative municipality fell short after the DA launched an investigation into allegations of fraud, corruption, maladministration and serious malpractice against the mayor.
Forensic report outcome: Here’s what the DA has found
In a statement, the head of George’s constituency, Geordin Hill-Lewis, revealed that the party has seen the forensic report into Naik’s alleged misconduct and the mayor has been found guilty of every charge.
“The report makes two very serious findings relating to the Mayor, Mr Melvin Naik, relating to alleged corruption, and interference in administrative processes. These findings are substantiated by a number of admissions by individuals involved as well as compelling circumstantial evidence. There is also evidence that certain relevant documents were withheld from the investigators,” Hill-Lewis noted.
The party has since moved to launch the process of Naik’s removal from office. Hill-Lewis stressed that Naik will be offered a platform to plead his case but the conclusions drawn from the report hold greater weight.
” It must be noted that Mayor Naik denies all the allegations against him, and they have not been proven in court. However, these findings go beyond mere empty allegation or rumour – they are detailed and substantiated, and in some cases the available evidence contradicts the Mayor’s denials. That is why the DA could not wait for the Hawks, who have been investigating other allegations regarding George for nearly two years, to take action,” he added.
What’s next for Naik?
The process of Naik’s removal will take place as follows:
the DA will write to Naik on Tuesday giving him notice of the party’s intention to place him on suspension, and giving him opportunity to provide reasons why this should not happen;the DA will charge Naik in terms of the party’s Constitution;the report will be tabled in the next full Council meeting taking place next Thursday, 30 January; andHill-Lewis will be meeting with Naik and the George DA Caucus on Tuesday to discuss further appropriate actions
Hill-Lewis called on opposition parties in George’s council to support the party in rooting out corruption in the metro.
“This demonstrates the DA’s commitment to clean government, even when this means taking action against colleagues,” he said.