MPs slam Knysna mayor
The mayor was forced to apologise to a parliamentary committee after she refused to appear before it.
CAPE TOWN - Knysna mayor Georlene Wolmarans has been forced to apologise to a parliamentary committee after she refused to appear before it on a previous occasion.
Wolmarans and municipal officials appeared before Parliament's select committee on petition and executive undertakings yesterday, to answer to claims of financial irregularities and maladministration.
In January, Wolmarans rejected the committee's invitation, saying her appearance would give credence to the "false allegations" which upset MPs.
Wolmarans apologised to the committee for the offence caused by her comments, but some members still had some harsh words for the mayor.
A visibly upset Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MP Tebogo Mokwele told Wolmarans she has undermined the committee and its work.
"It must be on record that as the committee we are not happy about the conduct."
The African National Congress' (ANC) Mohapi Mohapi says the mayor's conduct is unacceptable.
"I am saying procedurally you don't have the right to dictate for the committee. Go and check your provision of Section 69 of the Constitution."
The officials appeared before the committee after a Knysna resident submitted a complaint.
In his complaint, activist Mike Hampton claims there's been irregular funding of Knysna Tourism with taxpayers' money.
He also alleges a Roads and Human Settlements tender was awarded to a company which fell short of requirements.
Knysna Municipal manager Grant Easton says the council has an agreement with Knysna Tourism in which the independent body is paid about R6 million in grants to market the town.
"For 11 years when I was Chief Financial Officer at the municipality, the Auditor-General did not raise any issues regarding the payment of the grant to Knysna Tourism, the achievements thereof and conditions stipulated in the various agreed Service Level Agreements."
Easton has acknowledged there were objections to the awarding of the contract but he maintains there was no wrongdoing.