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A 64-year-old municipal executive found himself in custody accused of peddling a restricted document for profit to outside interests. The alleged misuse of internal information for personal gain led to corruption charges for Edwin Sibiya – the assistant finance head of Emalahleni Local Municipality.
The case came to light after a forensic auditing firm alerted leaders that someone internally circulated a confidential draft investigation analyzing issues of potential maladministration. Authorities soon discovered an official paid over R8,700 to acquire the leaked document marked for limited review.
Further investigation traced illicit payments directly from the accused administrator’s account as the source compromising the supposedly secure report compiled by external auditor AFIS. The ethics breach represented an undeniable conflict of interest given Sibiya’s integral finance role.
Once presented with evidence, magistrates approved a warrant culminating in Sibiya’s apprehension this week to face prosecution. However, he secured pretrial release Thursday after paying R5,000 bail pending further procedures and the anticipated arrests of additional persons tied to the illegal leak.
Critics cited the scandal as a further demonstration of oversight erosion and corrupted self-dealing among insiders. “If you can’t trust financial chiefs, who can you trust?” an observer noted about the violation shaking public confidence.
Prosecutors say restored accountability starts with sending a message that underhanded profit schemes carry consequences – even for big titles hiding behind bureaucratic cover.