Greed had overshadowed the IFP’s achievement at the Okhahlamba municipality, Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi said on Saturday.
“It is most unfortunate that, for a time, our good work was compromised by a handful of self-serving individuals who abused their positions at the helm of this municipality for personal gain,” he said at an election rally in Bergville.
Buthelezi said individuals had been democratically elected to lead the Okhahlamba municipality as councillors on the IFP party list only to betray their party’s values and principles once they were in power.
“This is by no means a unique story of betrayal, nor is it an isolated example of corruption by power.”
He said the mismanagement of municipal funds and allegations of corruption that resulted from the behaviour of these councillors did not only draw the ire of the IFP leadership but caught the attention of the KwaZulu-Natal auditor general.
He said this earned the IFP-controlled Okhahlamba municipality a string of unfavourable audit opinions from the supreme audit institution in the province.
Buthelezi said although corruption had done a lot of damage to the IFP’s reputation and compromised efficient service delivery in places like Okhahlamba, its resolution meant that they know where they stand.
“For the upcoming elections, we are bringing you candidates whom we have appropriately vetted during our candidate selection process, and about whose integrity and loyalty to the party we have no doubts.”
He said however that opponents in the National Freedom Party (NFP), a party formed by former IFP national chairperson Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi, were offering more of the same discredited individuals who previously ran the municipality for their own gain rather than the benefit of its residents and wasted municipal funds.
“Corruption and cadre deployment have caused so many billions of taxpayers’ money to be squandered.”
He said problems experienced by local government could be solved by restoring proper financial management and appointing qualified officials in specialised posts.
“Solutions to the associated challenges will follow. I believe that the main focal point of the department should be to restore service delivery by restoring proper financial management and controls in municipalities.” – Sapa