Yesterday, 25 July 2018, the Democratic Alliance (DA) Buffalo City Metro BCM Caucus walked out of a BCM council meeting in protest against a dubious decision to pay R3.4 million towards a boxing tournament that has already started.
Today a follow-up council meeting to approve this matter did not quorate and was postponed until 1 August.
The DA supports sports development and sponsorships but is not satisfied that the provisions of legislation applicable to municipal finances was adhered to.
The DA stands for clean administration and the boxing tournament, branded the 5th Annual Celebration of Madiba as a Boxer, evokes a parallel with the Mandela Funeral Scandal.
The DA is concerned about a possible conflict of interest between the boxing promoter and a member of the council Xolani Witbooi. The councillor concerned chaired the sports committee meeting on 7 June 2018. The committee recommended that a sponsorship of R3.4 million be allocated for the boxing tournament.
The committee resolved that R399 000 be paid for a separate event hosted by the same promoter, Xaba Promotions. The fact that R399 000 is R1000 short of the threshold of R400 000 that requires council approval indicates an attempt to evade council scrutiny.
It has been seven weeks since the committee recommended these payments, the item could have been tabled in the June 2018 Council meeting. Such an obvious attempt to subvert council’s authority requires proper investigation.
Recent reports of the ANC in Nelson Mandela Bay running out of money after the DA took over government has exposed their reliance on the people’s money to fund their political activities. Once more we are see this strategy taking place in BCM.
The DA believes that R3.4 million spent on a boxing tournament will benefit few politicians and their friends and might have been better spent to finance services of communities in BCM. We will not be party to any attempts to line the pockets of politicians while the people suffer.
Terence Fritz Cllr
Buffalo City Metro Caucus Leader
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