The Democratic Alliance (DA) in eThekwini is shocked at what appears to be yet another under the carpet transaction that could see City Manager, Musa Mbhele, transported around in a convoy of five armoured vehicles.
This raises several seriously concerning questions such as: What exactly is it that the city manager has to fear to justify the purchase of these specially modified Toyota Hilux vehicles, at a staggering cost of R20 million to eThekwini taxpayers?
Unlike the purchase of Casspir vehicles, a few years ago, utilised by Metro Police for public unrest these vehicles were purchased using a city fleet tender, as opposed to being tabled as a stand-alone security requirement. Why?
Another question that arises is: Were the vehicles budgeted for and if so, why did the municipality pay what is possibly more than double the R1.8 million such a conversion normally attracts?
These are just some of the pertinent questions emanating from the long list of expenditures from either the office of the city manager or the Speaker which often sees them attempt to justify security related purchases while avoiding elaboration or full disclosure.
In fact, it has become common practice for the city to withhold overtime, after hour or out-of-city limits travel information from scrutiny “in the interest of security”.
This is the same city manager who was implicated in an investigation into dodgy funds towards the building of his house.
The DA will continue asking the difficult questions of houses built, vehicles purchased, people appointed, tankers hired and bus accounts not paid under the watch of the very same city manager until the whole truth is revealed.