Tuesday, February 5, 2013
‘Give me proof of Boys Town corruption’
Cape Town - The Western Cape government will not investigate allegations of corruption at the Boys Town housing project in Crossroads unless it is provided with proof of corruption.
Human Settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela, accompanied by Crossroads ward councillor Depoutch Elese (ANC), went door-to-door on Monday to verify whether people staying in the new Boys Town houses were the legal tenants.
This follows a meeting last week where residents accused Elese of corruption and allocating houses to families that were not on the city or province’s housing waiting list.
At the meeting, Madikizela invited residents to accompany him to the houses they claimed were fraudulently allocated at 1pm yesterday. But by 1.30pm, no one had arrived. Madikizela then decided to do random checks using the provincial government’s list with the names of the beneficiaries, their ID numbers and addresses.
Of the five houses visited, people were at home in two of them and both were the legal tenants.
“If people think that something sinister is taking place, we want to know about it and will investigate - but only if we are given the proof. They speak in meetings and make a lot of allegations, but when we are here to investigate, no one arrives. This appears to be nothing more than a red herring, said Madikizela.”
Elese slammed the allegations as baseless. “These lists and all the details are verified by the provincial government. I have never taken any money from anyone for a government house and I have never shifted people on to the waiting list.”
Elese said allegations were being fuelled by a “disgruntled resident” who contested the ward as an independent candidate in the 2011 local government elections.
“He is making all of this up and has mobilised a group of residents to protest and make it unbearable for contractors who are still on site.”
The Boys Town development has been plagued by conflict for 10 years. It was stopped three times after allegations of political interference and corruption. Contractors were again threatened last month and construction of the remaining 577 houses was halted.
Madikizela said that anyone with proof of any fraudulent activity should report it to his office.