Forensic probe launched into misconduct allegations at Bitou Municipality

This follows a High Court ruling in favour of local government MEC Anton Bredell in a case brought by the Bitou council.

Western Cape Local Government MEC Anton Bredell Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape Local Government Department is conducting a forensic investigation into allegations of serious misconduct at the Bitou Municipality.

This follows a High Court ruling in favour of local government MEC Anton Bredell in a case brought by the Bitou council.

The council had attempted to prevent a Section 106 investigation, which allows an MEC to investigate a municipality amid allegations of wrongdoing, like fraud or misconduct.

Following last week's Western Cape High Court ruling, Bredell can now send a forensic team to conduct a probe into 11 different allegations of misconduct in the Bitou Municipality.

The allegations include the establishment of “ghost companies” run by municipal officials.

Bredell's spokesperson James-Brent Styan said: “We certainly hope to do investigations with the cooperation of the council and councils across the province. We welcome this latest judgment.”

The department is also busy with a similar investigation at the George Municipality.

Meanwhile, the Hawks is conducting its own investigation into George Municipality, as well as Kannaland, Beaufort West and Oudtshoorn.

Eyewitness News has been unable to get a comment from the Bitou Municipality.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)