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George Municipality ‘learnt’ of fraud, corruption probe via media

Local government MEC Anton Bredell said the probe would focus on the George Integrated Public Transport Network and irregular appointments made at the Municipality.

FILE: Western Cape local government MEC Anton Bredell. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The George Municipality on Wednesday it was shocked to have learnt via a media statement that Local government MEC Anton Bredell ordered an investigation into allegations of fraud and corruption.

Bredell said the probe would focus on the George Integrated Public Transport Network and irregular appointments made at the municipality.

But officials in George said there was reason to believe that investigation was politically motivated as council found all the allegations to be unsubstantiated.

In April, Good party leader Patricia de Lille submitted evidence to the Public Protector of a kickback scheme involving R350 million of public funds transferred by George Municipality to a financial institution as an investment.

Now George municipal manager Trevor Botha said ever since he reported concerns around the alleged investment fraud to the MEC and police, a number of unsubstantiated allegations have been levelled against him and George Mayor Melvin Naik.

George municipal spokesperson Chantel Edward-Klose said: “The selective probing into allegations against certain senior officials appears to be a political retaliation.”

Local government MEC's spokesperson James-Brent Styan said the investigation was going ahead.

De Lille claimed the son of a Democratic Alliance councillor drew interest from the investments and that kickbacks of R400,000 were paid to officials.