The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Western Cape has studied the findings of a forensic investigation into allegations of fraud, corruption, maladministration and serious malpractice within the George Municipality.
This investigation was conducted at the instruction of the Minister for Local Government in the Western Cape, Anton Bredell.
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.
The DA is committed to delivering governance that is demonstrably cleaner and more accountable than any other party in South Africa. Every voter and ratepayer should feel confident that where the DA governs, public money will be spent wisely and that it will not be misappropriated. Where a DA government falls short of this expectation, we will always act to uphold our standard and restore public confidence. Any person involved in corruption will have no place in a DA government. That is the “DA difference” and that is what the public can expect from us.
The Provincial Executive Committee of the DA in the Western Cape has therefore resolved to take the following action immediately:
- That the DA will write to Mayor Naik today giving him notice of our intention to place him on suspension, and giving him opportunity to provide reasons why this should not happen;
- That the DA will charge Mayor Naik in terms of the DA’s Constitution;
- The report will be tabled in the next full Council meeting taking place next Thursday, 30 January; and
- I will be meeting with Mayor Naik and the George DA Caucus today to discuss further appropriate actions
The alleged offences detailed in the report carry very serious criminal sanctions. 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.
We also cannot await the outcome of any eventual criminal proceedings, although those must of course go ahead. We have to take decisive action now to restore the integrity of the DA administration in George.
It is thanks only to MEC Bredell and the DA in the Western Cape that these allegations have been thoroughly investigated and this evidence has been brought to light. This demonstrates the DA’s commitment to clean government, even when this means taking action against colleagues.
We call on all parties in the George Council to support our efforts to root out corruption in George.